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Gayana (Concepción)

On-line version ISSN 0717-6538

Abstract

CHIANG, GUSTAVO et al. Regional Cumulative Effects Monitoring Framework: Gaps and Challenges for the Biobío River Basin in South Central Chile. Gayana (Concepc.) [online]. 2014, vol.78, n.2, pp.109-119. ISSN 0717-6538.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0717-65382014000200004.

Sustainable watershed management in the world is an issue that has taken much importance and attention in terms of quality and availability of water for all users in the basin. The economic growth experienced by Chile in recent years has led to increased stress on aquatic systems, especially in the Biobío river basin. The Biobío basin has faced with multiple expansions for hydroelectric power, and at the same time providing sources for competing demands from urbanization, industry, agriculture and irrigation, forestry, aquaculture, tourism, recreation, and it is a regional domain of indigenous peoples. There is a growing unease about the current process of managing single developments with Environmental Impacts Assessment (EIA). Assessing the impacts of all these threats to freshwater ecosystem is challenging. The Biobío offers an opportunity to make advances in a number of important areas for regional watershed management, including national standardization requirements for effects monitoring and for the development of a regional database. For Biobío river basin, development of such a conceptual framework requires several steps that include identifying: the scope (basin and/or subbasin) and setting (physiographic/geopolitics governance); threats to the system (past present and future); regional resource users and public services, and natural variation and gradients within the system. In these review we state what kind of pilot studies would be required to help design a Regional Cumulative Effects Monitoring Framework and must establish key design criteria including what species (species differential sensitivity) and parameters (level of organization), the magnitude of change we wish to detect and monitoring frequency are necessary to ensure sustainable management of the Biobío river basin.

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