Victory | August 14, 2023
Chile Approves New Marine Protected Area in Iconic Humboldt Archipelago
The Council of Ministers for Sustainability in Chile approved the creation of the Humboldt Archipelago multi-use marine coastal protected area (AMCP-MU in Spanish), marking one of the country’s most important environmental achievements. The new protected area, which measures more than 5,700 square kilometers (2,200 square miles), will safeguard one of the most biodiverse ecosystems in Chile, while also promoting sustainable development for local communities. This national designation will raise the environmental assessment standards for potential industrial development projects in the Humboldt Archipelago area, including for the Dominga port mining project, which Oceana and our allies campaigned against and fought in court for years. Dominga and other similar projects would encroach on this important feeding area for many marine species including blue whales and the vulnerable Humboldt penguin population. Industrial projects also threaten the ‘upwelling’ phenomenon that occurs in the Humboldt archipelago, which fertilizes the water and allows phytoplankton, the base of the food web, to flourish. The new protected area also preserves artisanal fishing and eco-tourism, both of which are sustainable and critical to supporting the local economy.