Saving Mar Brava

Chile’s Chiloé Island and its surrounding waters serve as a crucial feeding ground for blue whales of the southern hemisphere, a migratory route for several bird species, and are a key area for the critically endangered southeast population of southern right whales. It also holds one of the oldest archeological sites of native communities of the Americas.

However, the long-term conservation of the area is under threat due to the planned construction of a mega wind farm project that seeks to build more than thirty 90-meter high wind turbines on the coast line of Mar Brava, one of the richest zones of costal biodiversity in Chile. Although renewable energy resources are a great alternative to reducing the consumption of fossil fuels, they can also have a negative environmental impact if not suitably located.

iLCP was invited to Chiloé to document the situation by the Chilean NGO Centro de Conservación Cetacea, iLCP Fellow Chris Linder’s images are serving to raise public awareness about the uniqueness of northwestern Chiloé, and the importance of the long-term conservation of its cultural and biological heritage. They are also being used to support a strong public campaign for the relocation of the mega wind farm project, and grant long term protection to the area from industrial development. We hope they can also help to highlight the need to adopt regulations and guidelines for renewable energy resources in Chile.