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CEADA's forest submission meets criteria

26 July, 2002

Dear all.

CEADA is pleased to inform you that our forest submission filed before the Canada-Chile Commission on Environmental Cooperation have met requeriments of Article 14 (1) of the Canada - Chile Agreement on Environmental Cooperation.

CEADA's submission was forwarded to the Joint Submission Committee in order to decide whether the submission merits requesting a response from the government of Chile.

CEADA’s submission presents evidence that the Government of Chile is failing to effectively enforce its environmental laws regarding the construction of the “Southern Coastal Highway” project (Carretera Costera Sur). The construction of the Southern Coastal Highway threatens one of the planet’s most important ecosystems and the survival of many plant and animal species which do not exist anywhere else on earth.

CEADA trust that the submission will result in appropriate “Recommendations” that will allow the conservation of the environment of the Tenth Region of Chile, particularly the area affected by the Southern Coastal Highway, thus achieving the goals and obligations of the Canada-Chile Agreement for Environmental Cooperation.


No. A14-2002-01 Submission A14-2002-01 was submitted on June 21 st 2002 by the Centro Austral de Derecho Ambiental [Southern Centre for Environmental Law] (CEADA) on behalf of Waldemar Monsalve Umaña, the Instituto de Ecología de Chile [Chilean Institute of Ecology] and the Corporación Río Contaco [Contaco River Corporation]. The submitters point out that there are acts and omissions that confirm a lack of effective enforcement of environmental legislation by the Chilean authorities in building the Camino Costero Sur [Southern Coasta Highway]. In particular, the submitters argue that the Chilean authorities have not effectively ensured compliance with the following legislation:

  • Articles 6 and 7 of the Political Constitution of the Republic of Chile
  • Article 5 of Supreme Decree No. 4,363 of the Ministry of Agriculture dated 30 June 1931 (Forest Act)
  • Articles 2,17 and 21 of Decree-Law No. 701 of 1974 on Forest Development
  • Law No. 19,300 on Guidelines for the Environment
  • Supreme Decree No. 30 of 1997 issued by the General Secretariat of the Office of the President, Regulations Applicable to the Environmental Impact Assessment System
  • Statutory Decree No. 1,122/8, Water Code. According to the submitters, the ineffective enforcement of the environmental legislation is evident in:
  • Illegal cutting of the native forest in the area of the Contaco River
  • The conducting of the environmental impact assessment in sectors "A", "B" and "C" of the Camino Costero Sur
  • Approval of the Environmental Impact Assessment of the Bahía Mansa-Río Choroy segment of the Camino Costero Sur
  • Operations in the Chaihuin-Hueicolla protected area, and;

Lack of compliance with the conditions set out in Resolución de Calificación Ambiental Nº 422 [Environmental Assessment Ruling No. 422], by virtue of which construction of the Camino Costero Sur was approved..The submitters state that they have been directly affected by these actions--Mr. Waldemar Monsalve Umaña in particular, who is the owner of a farm on the shores of the Contaco River. The lack of effective enforcement of environmental legislation has resulted in serious damage to the environment and [threatened] the conservation of natural resources and biodiversity. The environmental impact includes the following:

  • Alteration of geomorphologic processes;
  • Increase in natural hazards;
  • Soil alteration, damage and/or loss;
  • Increased rate of erosive processes;
  • Loss of and/or decline in native vegetation;
  • Fragmentation of the habitat;
  • Alteration of the basic visual characteristics of the landscape in which the project is located;
  • Alteration of or damage to cultural heritage and;
  • Damage to superficial channels.

The purpose of this summary is to provide a general overview of Submission A14-2002-01. The full text of the submission is available in the public files of the National Secretariats of Chile and Canada.


From: miguelforest@yahoo.com


Miguel Fredes
Centro Austral de Derecho Ambiental - C E A D A
[Southern Environmental Law Center]
Tel-Fax(56)(65)313969 (Puerto Montt)

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