WWF honours Chileans for coastal forest conservation | WWF
WWF honours Chileans for coastal forest conservation

Posted on 26 October 2006

WWF has presented the Chilean timber company Masisa and the Mapu Lahual Indigenous Association with a “Leaders for a Living Planet” award in recognition of their conservation efforts to protect the coastal forests of the Valdivian Ecoregion.
Valdavia, Chile – WWF has presented the Chilean timber company Masisa and the Mapu Lahual Indigenous Association with a “Leaders for a Living Planet” award in recognition of their conservation efforts to protect the coastal forests of the Valdivian Ecoregion.

Masisa was recognized for its pledge to strengthen the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification system in Chile, under which they have managed their plantations since 2004. The timber company has also committed to identifying forests of high value within their own properties and create more protected areas.

“Like all companies we are in business to make a profit, but our objective is not to obtain this profit at whatever cost,” said Masisa representative Claudio Caro at the award ceremony.

“We have incorporated respect for the environment and local communities as common business practice. We hope to be good neighbours with those who inhabit the forest.”

The Mapu Lahual Indigenous Association, located along the coastal range of Chile’s Osorno Province, was also recognized for its efforts towards the conservation of temperate rainforests on their ancestral land, and for the creation of the first network on indigenous parks in Chile. The association is also undertaking ecotourism projects that seek to promote the value of the forest and coastal ecosystems within their territory, while gaining economic benefits for the communities.

“The continual loss and lack of protection of the coastal forests are a critical issue for Chile,” said WWF Chile coordinator David Tecklin.

“The conservation initiatives and pledges made by the Mapu Lahual Association and Masisa are just a start. We hope that within the next year other initiatives will be taken to improve the conservation of the costal forests and marine ecosystems.”

In particular, WWF is working with local partners to declare a protected coastal marine area for the Gulf of Corcovado, an important feeding and breeding zone for blue whales.

The Valdivian Ecoregion, located on the southwest coast of Chile and extending into a small part of Argentina, is characterized by a long coastline, as well as a land area covered with glaciers and numerous lakes. It is also home to such unique species as the species such as the pudú, the world’s smallest deer; the monito del monte, an ancient marsupial; the huillín, a river otter; and Darwin's fox and frog.

For further information:
Annelore Hoffens, Communications Officer
WWF Chile
Tel + 56 63 244590
Email: annelore.hoffens@wwf.cl
Aerial view of deforestation of temperate rainforest Near Valdivia Chile
Find out about WWF's work conserving the Valdivian Ecoregion
© WWF / Edward PARKER
Inauguration of a Mapu Lahual Indigenous Park, Valdivia, Chile.
© WWF Chile
Sheila 0'Connor from WWF International presenting Claudio Caro, a representative of the MASISA forest company, with the WWF Leaders for a Living Planet award.
© WWF Chile