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Revista chilena de historia natural

Print version ISSN 0716-078X


PETIT, Ignacio J. et al. Protected areas in Chile: are we managing them?. Rev. chil. hist. nat. [online]. 2018, vol.91, 1. ISSN 0716-078X.


Human population growth since the mid-1900s has been accompanied by an unsustainable use of natural resources and a corresponding impact on terrestrial and marine biota. In response, most states have established protected areas as tools to decrease biodiversity loss, being Chile one of the signatories of international conservation agreements such as the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the 2010 Aichi Targets. This study reviews the Chilean protected areas that have been created to date, with an emphasis on the existence and effectiveness of management plans for all terrestrial and marine protected areas.

Effectiveness was individually evaluated using two filters: 1) the age of the management plan and 2) the first four steps of the Protected Areas Management Effectiveness (PAME) methodology recommended by the IUCN.


We show that 84 out of a total of 145 protected areas (PAs), and only five out of a total of 20 marine protected areas (MPAs), have management plans. Only 12% (N = 16) of PAs are effectively managed; while in the marine realm, no MPA has an effective plan.


Our results show the lack of both the effectiveness of and updates to the management plans for the vast majority of the national territory and raise the following question: is it sustainable to continue adding protected areas to the national system even though it is clear that the existing support is insufficient to meet the minimum requirements for full implementation?

Keywords : AICHI targets; Biodiversity; Conservation; Chile; Effective management; MPA.

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