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The Chile Information Project: Environmental Report – CHIP/ER

The CHIP-ER site highlights the environmentally sensitive areas of the country and the stresses that economic development have brought to them. The site underscores these problems with an eye to promoting more sustainable and environmentally friendly development – so that growth won’t be short term and future generations will be able to enjoy the truly magnificent beauty to be found here.

Chile’s export-driven economy has made gigantic strides in the past three decades, leading all Latin American nations in overall GDP growth and earning its place as the first South American nation to join in the U.S.-sponsored Free Trade of the Americas agreement.

The country has successfully diversified from its traditional dependence on copper exports (Chile provides about one third of the world’s copper production/exports), and has now become a world leader in non-traditional exports like fresh fruit (the leading S. Hemisphere producer), farmed salmon (it will soon overtake Norway to become the world’s most important producer/exporter), wine and forestry products.

But while Chile’s economic growth has been impressive, it has not committed itself to sustainable development designed to protect its precious natural resources for future generations. Because little or no added value is given to most of the natural resources Chile exports, potential jobs are sacrificed and the country is too dependent on the short term commodity prices. And, quite frankly, the wealth generated by this development is far too skewed towards the economic elites to bode well for long-term, sustained development.

This site was developed with the cooperation of many friends in Chile’s environmental community, but with special thanks to Adriana Hoffmann and Yvette Martinez. We invite the reader’s input and suggestions and look forward to better understanding amongst all the people of the Western Hemisphere.

Steve Anderson

Publisher, CHIP