The main thematic areas in which we work are: water, biodiversity, and conservation.
We at Ecosistemas have a critical stance regarding Chile´s current development model, and for this reason we seek to generate a new way of thinking and new forms by which human beings can relate to the environment.
This vision is present in our interrelated work areas, which are:
strengthening citizenship; information and communication; lobbying and feedback with local, national, and international actors, as well as citizen organizations, NGOs, academics, labor unions, parliamentarians, and communications media.
. Contribute toward an ecological view of the planet
. Promote protection of ecosystems in harmony with the satisfaction of needs and desires of local communities, considering future generations.
. Improve communications and coordination processes in citizenship.
In 2001 a group of Chilean non-governamental and professional organizations working on environmental, social, and ecological issues created a coordination called "The Aysén Alliance for a Life Reserve" www.noalumysa.cl. This coordination had as its objective the carrying out of a citizen campaign in opposition to the Alumysa project, which the Canadian transnational Noranda planned for Chile. The project consisted of the installation of an industrial complex for primary aluminum smelting in Aysén, the XI region of Chile, one of the zones in Chilean Patagonia characterized by its high environmental quality. The common efforts of many people and organizations in this campaign halted the company´s plans, and in August 2003, Noranda withdrew its application for an Environmental License.
Alumysa´s demise was a historical moment, considering that at least for a while, the local culture, valuable natural ecosystems, and the great alternative economic potential of this region have been saved.
Since 2002, a group of professionals which had carried out projects in southern Chile - Patagonia - was formalized to compile information and carry out activities aimed at capacity building and strengthening citizenship.
Today we are developing adjoining projects on the defense, knowledge, and value of the Chilean Patagonia with the support from diverse foundations such as: Weeden Foundation, Manfred Hermsen Foundation, Lighthouse Foundation, Marisla Foundation, Patagonia INC. Foundation, and Deep Ecology Foundation.
Our organization, Ecosistemas, has defined three principal thematic areas by which we develop our work: water, biodiversity, and conservation. In each of these areas, we carry out actions of compiling and systematizing information, follow-up and analysis of information obtained from national and international sources, and the dissemination of this information.
To promote knowledge about ecosystems in Chile and globally, to increase the value accorded these ecosystems, and to work for their protection, stimulating a reflection through citizenship which aims at the adoption of a new sustained ecological culture, through a systemic and integral examination of our country's environmental, social, and economic development.
An important strategy in our work is the development of communications campaigns on the national and International level, whose principal objective is to provide relevant information to diverse citizens´ groups. The implementation of these campaigns requires broad coordination, involving distinct people and organizations from the scientific, environmental, social, productive, and political communities.
Native Forests Network Citizens´ Campaign
This initiative is the result of a meeting between a group of Chilean organizations in December, 2004. The objective of forming this Network is to carry out coordinated work leading to a consensus among diverse actors regarding the minimum acceptable content of a proposed Law on Recuperation and Development of Native Forests.
New Water culture
The New Water Culture International Campaign aims to install a new vision regarding water resources and to seek fundamental solutions for problems relating to the property and management of these water resources in the world.
The Patagonia Campaign is a proposal to learn about and to value the ecosystems, and the unique environmental and cultural heritage of the southern-most regions of Chile and the world, which despite their incalculable natural value, recognized globally, have been little-known and little-studied, and for this reason, have not been sufficiently valued.
Nacional Campaign for Conservation of the Blue Whale
Sailing since 1997 in search of groups of blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus), an expedition led by Dr. Rodrigo Hucke-Gaete and members of the Blue Whale Center (CBA) discovered two years ago blue whales in southern Chile. The importance of this find is notable since the blue whale is the world´s largest animal and is threatened with extinction. The danger to this and other whale species is from indiscriminate hunting, which dramatically reduced its populations to less than 3% of their original size in the Southern Hemisphere.
No Alumysa Campaign
This initiative began in 2001, as a result of organizing by Chilean non-governmental and professional organizations working on environmental, social, and ecological issues. They created a coordinated called "The Aysén Reserve of Life Alliance", whose objective was to carry out a citizen campaign in opposition to the Alumysa project, which the Canadian transnational Noranda planned in Chile, consisting of the installation of an industrial complex for smelting primary aluminum. This industrial complex would have been installed in Aysén, XI region of Chile, transforming one of the regions of Chilean Patagonia with highest environmental quality into a dumping ground for industrial and toxic wastes.
Campaign for Living Rivers of Patagonia
The Campaign for Living Rivers of Patagonia is a national and international initiative by which Ecosistemas seeks to inform and generate reflection and critical opinions regarding the hydroelectric projects which the transnational Endesa Spain plans to build in Chile´s Patagonia region, specifically in Aysén province. The campaign´s principal concern is the risk that these projects imply for highly fragile ecosystems with high ecological value.
Campaign Network for a Chile Free of Genetically-Modified Organisms
This initiative began in 1998, starting with environmental, consumers, and organic producers´ groups in Chile who were concerned with the lack of information regarding transgenic organisms and the dangers which could result from their development and cultivation, and the dangers of consuming them.