The reforestation of Chilean Patagonia world famous Torres del Paine National Park started this week when 50 volunteers arrived to plant the first round of trees after fires devastated the park in January.
Patagonia Sur, who is in charge of the “Reforestemos Patagonia” project, will plant the first of 20,000 trees in the first week of work.
“The initiative has generated a lot of enthusiasm in the public,” Reforestemos Patagonia Executive Director Matías Rivera said. “This is an opportunity to help us restore our Patagonia, which is something everyone appreciates and enjoys”.
The project was commissioned by the Chilean Environmental Ministry and is coordinated by the Institute of Ecology and Biodiversity. It will cost 6.5 million dollars and will be spread out over the next five years.
“This is a spending proposal we have received from the technical committee, Leonel Serralta, head of the biodiversity division in the Environmental Ministry, told La Tercera. Financing sources include mostly international and public sources, with a smaller amount coming from regional funds”.
The plan proposes an ecological restoration procedure covering a five year period. It initially proposes reforesting 247 acres per year, at a density of just over 800 trees per acre. An estimated 200,000 trees will be planted per year.
In addition, the plan will establish a new geographic information system and will use satellite imagery to monitor the progress.
Chile’s National Forestry Corporation (Conaf) will assist in the process by increasing the number of park rangers over the next two years and by creating new infrastructure plans, among other measures.
Conaf Forest Manager Eduardo Katz said the 20,000 trees to be planted next week are native species to Puerto Natales.
“We will be working together with Patagonia Sur to bring in trees suitable to the area,” Katz said.
By Abigail Olmstead - The Santiago Times