Chile and United States working together to protect environment
Officials from both countries have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to increase cooperation and improve conservation management of protected natural areas.
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Parque Nacional Torres del Paine is one of Chile’s most famous protected areas. Photo by Gabriele de Benedittis.
Chile and the United States have furthered their collaborative efforts to protect the environment through a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on environmental cooperation.
The MOU will help create new partnerships and build on the already strong relationship between the two countries in the area of environmental protection. Through knowledge exchanges of best practices, agency development, and site visits, the agreement aims to further improve on efforts taken by Chile and the U.S. to protect the environment.
Chile’s Undersecretary of Fishing Pablo Galilea and Undersecretary of the Environment Ricardo Irarrázabal were on hand to sign the agreement, along with U.S. Ambassador to Chile, Alejandro Wolff, and Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, Kerri-Ann Jones, from the U.S.
Chile and the U.S. already have strong environmental ties. In 2003, both countries signed the Environmental Cooperation Agreement which aims to protect the environment while promoting sustainable development through expanded trade and investment ties. Since then, the U.S. has dedicated more than US$4 million to support environmental projects in Chile.
Results of the partnership include scientific research projects like glacier melt monitoring systems in three Chilean glaciers, training for 300 people in natural resource management, and deploying a special Burned Area Emergency Response Team to fight the January 2012 wildfires in Parque Nacional Torres del Paine.
According to Ambassador Wolff, the MOU "represents an additional tool for managing our growing partnership, articulating and formalizing the collaboration that will from this point forward be increasingly close and firm."
The signing of the MOU coincided with the sixth meeting of the Environmental Affairs Council under the U.S.-Chile Trade Agreement, and the fourth meeting of the Joint Commission for Environmental Cooperation under the U.S.-Chile Environmental Cooperation Agreement. These meetings took place January 7-10 in Santiago.
For more information, check out these past environmental cooperation agreements signed by the U.S. and Chile.