Projects in Chile

Literature Competition and Environmental Radio -sphenisco-chile launches new initiatives-

Landau 8th April 2024. Conservationists and scientists have been fighting for the "Humboldt Archipelago Marine Protected Area" for more than 20 years. It was adopted by the Chilean government last year and declared in the official gazette at the end of November. This marked the start of a legally prescribed 2-year process to develop a management plan for the protected zone. This is the responsibility of the national Ministry of the Environment, represented by the Undersecretaries for the Environment, Natalia Penroz for the Atacama region and Leonardo Gros for the Coquimbo region. The Ministry is planning a series of informative workshops in all the fishing villages in the municipalities of La Higuera and Freirina with the aim of ensuring that all citizens receive the same information about what is meant by a "Área Marina Costera Protegida de Múltiples Usos - AMCP-MU", what its objectives are, what the administrative plan means and how the communities will be involved. The "local council of stakeholders" will most likely be involved in the 2nd phase of this process. Who the ministry will appoint to this committee is open and will be decided by the ministry.

The mining companies Compañía Minera del Pacífico (CMP) and Andes Iron will continue to exert pressure, spread fake news and discredit and aggressively oppose the marine protected area at every opportunity. They also want to prevent environmental organisations from being involved in the consultation process on the management plan.

Due to the great importance of this consultation process, sphenisco-chile is intensifying its public relations and educational work with 2 new projects, the literary competition "Humboldt Archipelago in 110 Words" and the radio programme "Sintonia Humboldt" on Radio Montecarlo.

Literary Competition "Humboldt Archipelago in 110 words"

The literary competition "Humboldt Archipelago in 110 Words" is organised by sphenisco-chile and "Defensa Ambiental Región de Coquimbo" and supported by Aliananza Humboldt, the two regional ministries of education, the municipalities of Freirina and La Serena, cultural and environmental organisations and the newspaper El Mostrador. The project is sponsored by Rostock Zoo.

The aim is to bring this wonderful and unique area closer to as many people as possible, especially families and local residents. The "Humboldt Archipelago" is an ecosystem of unusually high biological diversity, with seabirds, Humboldt penguins, dolphins, whales and chungoos. It also includes Chango communities and artisanal fishermen. The hotspot of biodiversity will be presented through creative works by people who appreciate, protect and enjoy this unique place in Chile and on the entire planet.

Participants are asked to tell a story or anecdote, a thought or a feeling related to the "Humboldt Archipelago" in 110 words. Beyond grammar and technique, emphasis is placed on what the authors see, feel and create through their works. The competition also aims to promote reading skills and creativity.

Prices are available for different groups: Children, young people and adults. The 1st prize is a visit to the archipelago. The winners travel with up to 3 companions to Pt. de Choros, visit islands of the archipelago by boat and are invited to dinner. The runners-up will each receive 100,000 Chilean pesos (approx. € 100). The 3rd prize is a book with all the competition entries.

The jury consists of the author and historian José Aguilera from Los Hornos, the writer Helena Jiménz (nominated by the Ministry of Education) and another writer who is still to be nominated by the newspaper El Mostrador.

The literary competition is widely advertised. Sphenisco-chile and "Defensa Ambiental Región de Coquimbo" provide information with flyers and snappy, attractive video adverts on Instagram and Facebook as well as personal invitations by email. The participating ministries and municipalities as well as the newspaper El Mostrador are also promoting the competition.

The campaign was launched on 2 April with a small event in the border area between the Coquimbo and Atacama regions (see pictures). In addition to citizens from Los Choros and Pt. de Choros, Leonardo Gros, Undersecretary for the Environment of the Coquimbo region, the jurors José Aguilera and Helena Jiménz also took part. The newspapers El Mostrador, El Norte and El comunal reported.

Environmental Radio "Sintonia Humboldt" (1)

A few days later, sphenisco-chile launched the radio talk show "Sintonia Humboldt" (1) on Radio Montecarlo together with the Nivel Ambiental network (2). The first programme can be seen on Facebook.

The regional radio station has over 30 years of experience and broadcasts on the frequency 102.7 Mhz FM. It reaches the towns of La Higuera, La Serena, Coquimbo, Vicuña, Paihuano, Ovalle, Río Hurtado, Punitaqui and Salamanca. On social media, Radio Montecarlo has 53,000 listeners on Facebook and 26,000 on Instagram. The station also has an online signal so that it can be heard anywhere in the world.

The programme "Sintonia Humboldt" consists of conversations, interviews and news, interspersed with music (3). Representatives of socio-ecological groups, scientists and relevant environmental stakeholders present natural treasures and environmental problems in the Coquimbo region as vividly as possible. The aim is to raise awareness of and promote sustainable development. Reports on the Humboldt Archipelago and its coastal villages are prioritised.

For one year - from April 2024 to March 2025 - "Sintonia Humboldt" (1) will broadcast 1 hour every week on Saturdays at 11.00 am. The presenters each provide an insight into everyday life in a different place in the region and allow experts, environmental groups and residents to have their say. They also plan to present companies or entrepreneurs who are committed to the environment in order to promote their involvement and contribute to critical consumption.

A programme could be structured as follows:
1. current situation of the marine protected area "Humboldt Archipelago", 
2. interview with Marjoria Rojas from Movimiento EcoPanul (4) and presentation of the organisation, 
3. relevant issues and ecological perspectives for the community of Punal and 
4. interview with the marine biologist from Ecoterra (5) on the occasion of a meeting between the inhabitants of Panul and the company Aguas del Valle.

The production team consists of presenter and media manager Carla Parra Aldunate, presenter and editorial production coordinator Rodrigo Muñoz Rojas, sphenisco-chile as part of the editorial team and columnists from the Nivel Ambiental network.

The project is sponsored by Bergzoo Halle, Germany and Wildlands Adventure Zoo Emmen, Netherlands

W. K.

(1) "Sintonia Humboldt" is difficult to translate as "we together with Humboldt" or "in harmony with Humboldt".
(2) Nivel Ambiental network. Association of around 12 regional environmental organisations.
(3) The programme's music is diverse and is oriented towards the station's programme line.
(4) Movimiento EcoPanul. The movement is committed to education, protection and preservation of the natural and cultural heritage of El Panul.
(5) The members of Ecoterra see themselves as "best friends of technology and nature". They develop products and production systems in areas such as dairies, poultry farming and sustainable, organic farming. 

translated by Claudia Fawer

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