The Conama’s functions include administering the Environmental Impact Assessment System, SEIA, a process that allows evaluating the design, execution, follow-up, and oversight of the projects or activities that are undertaken in the country.
The Conama also drafts environmental standards and prevention and decontamination plans, it coordinates with institutions related to international support for environmental projects, finances projects or activities aimed at environmental protection or restoration, and promotes public environmental education.
In 2005 the Conama drafted a road map for the implementation of a National Biodiversity Strategy to reflect the priorities and expectations of our entire society and to make progress in its preservation and sustainable use.
The decision by the National Congress to turn the Conama into a ministry will shore up the sector’s institutions and will facilitate the creation of autonomous environmental oversight and administration institutions for the SEIA.
The 2008 promulgation of regulations on the recovery of the native forest and forestry development is of a strategic nature. The country thus takes on a leading position in Latin America for the sustainable development of native tree species. The regulation creates the conditions for the conservation of 500,000 hectares (1.2 million acres) on private lands alone.
The law also considers funds for scientific research and incentives that reward activities that allow the regeneration, recovery or protection of conservation forests, in addition to forestry activities that are aimed at non-wood products and others aimed at administering and restoring species.
In action against climate change
As President Michelle Bachelet’s guest in 2007, the UN secretary general made one of his most energetic calls for action against global warming from Chile. After endorsing the national commitment to the environment, Ban Ki-moon learned of the effects of climate change on the South Pole during a visit to the Eduardo Frei Montalva Antarctic base.
A year later, the Chilean state presented a national action plan to deal with the impacts of the problem and to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions through 2012. The plan also includes creating and fostering the capacities that will contribute toward finding a solution to the problem.
The idea is to stimulate the creation of partnerships for applied research on second-generation bio-fuels with US$ 12 million allocated; to promote investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency with a state guarantee fund of US$ 400 million, and to pass a law to promote the installation of solar thermal hot water systems in new homes through a tax break.
In 2006, state and private actors coordinated by the Economy Ministry gave life to the National Climate Change Strategy, which together with the National Energy Commission, CNE, led a broad-based publicity campaign that promoted more efficient habits among the public, in this way reducing electricity consumption in the central-southern region of the country by 4.2% between March and June 2008.
This post is also available in Spanish