Protected National Assets (BNP) are areas that the Chilean state has reserved for conservation and sustainable development purposes. The Chilean authorities have created a mechanism that allows the coexistence of public property and the private administration of protected lands in order to achieve a responsible management of the public heritage assets they contain.
These areas are not subjected to public open tender processes. They are not for sale. The system works based on long-term concessions for private agents who present projects that are associated with certain goals, among other requirements, providing investment opportunities for local and foreign investors for the development and supply of tourist infrastructure and scientific, educational and conservation projects, among others.
Since its creation, the BNP mechanism has put 48 public areas under official protection, which cover an approximate area of 500,000 hectares with a valuable natural heritage: diverse plant formations, important ecosystems in the country and species in precarious states of conservation. 59% of these lands have a territorial planning instrument known as a Management Guide, which defines the most important aspects related to their management.
Another 31% are in the process of awarding or being awarded in concession to third parties for their administration and over 30% of them are accessible to the public through the implementation of the Heritage Routes.
This public-private alliance for conservation purposes is unique in Chile and provides guarantees both for the actual conservation of the species or ecosystems contained in the lands in question, as well as creating the conditions for these assets to be used and enjoyed by current and new generations. In fact, there are already several projects that demonstrate the benefits of the system.
This post is also available in Spanish