Biosphere reserve in Chilean Patagonia gives hope for preservation of the huemul

Biosphere reserve in Chilean Patagonia gives hope for preservation of the huemul

The United Nations added 18 new sites to its global list of biosphere reserves, (including one in Chilean Patagonia) bringing the total to 581 in 114 different countries, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) reported.


Posted 03 July 2011, by Staff, MercoPress (South Atlantic News Agency),

The huemul is an emblematic Patagonian deer and endangered species

The International Coordinating Council of UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB), meeting in Dresden, added sites in Lithuania, Maldives, Saint Kitts and Nevis, and Togo for the first time to the World Network of Biosphere Reserves (WNBR).

Biosphere reserves are places recognized by MAB where local communities are actively involved in governance and management, research, education, training and monitoring at the service of both socio-economic development and biodiversity conservation. They are thus sites for experimenting with and learning about sustainable development, UNESCO said.

Including Chile’s Corredor Biologico de Nevados de Chillan y la Lagua del Laja in the WNBR gives a boost to private and government efforts for the conservation of the huemul, a Patagonia native deer.

The huemul herd in the Corredor Bilogico is down to 40 and highly fragmented as to their distribution which makes reproduction difficult. Besides they are geographically isolated from a greater herd further south in the Aysen region.

Chile’s National Committee for the defence of fauna and flora, CODEFF, received with great enthusiasm the UNESCO news.

“This acknowledgement has been possible because of the joint work of civil society organizations with officials from municipal, regional and central government offices”, said Bernardo Zentilli, president of CODEFF.

“The WNBR is protected by international law which is a great step forward for the conservation of the huemul, an emblematic Chilean species, which is in serious danger of extinction with only 2.500 left according to the latest census”, said Zentilli.

A biologic corridor is described as a geographic space which provides connectivity for ecosystems, habitats, original or modified and which at the same time ensures the maintenance of biological diversity, plus protection to ecologic and evolution processes.

Nevados de Chillán is an Andes cordilleran protected area with the purpose of making compatible its sustainable use with conservation of hydrologic basins, flora and fauna resources, preservation of scenic beauties, avoid the destruction of soils and protect the fields where the huemul lives.


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