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C H I L E

31 August 2020
+++Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Board of Directors has been conferring even more closely with our employee Nancy Duman via zoom. We are surprised and appreciate it very much how creatively and productively she and our partners in Chile continue to work under the extreme conditions of the pandemic (at present there is still a quarantine in La Serena!). In August alone, the following actions were carried out:

+++At the beginning of August, it was discussed with residents of all villages in the municipality of La Higuera on the topic "How we dream the future". The video conferences - with each village separately - met with varying degrees of response and productivity. Nevertheless, many suggestions were made, for example on waste separation, recycling and art made from waste, an annual calendar activities such as the Loco Fest, "Djangos" (indigenous people of the region), a museum respectively an exhibition on "Djangos" and a training in the production of olive oil. In a next step the ideas from the different villages will be pooled. The organizations and associations of the above villages will be involved.

+++On 22 August Alianza Humboldt (Sphenisco is part of the alliance) organized a meeting on the Internet with the topic "Seminar Humboldt Archipelago - Hope for a sustainable development in Chile" ("Seminario Archipiélago de Humboldt-esperanza para un desarrollo sostenible de Chile"). Moderated by Nancy Duman, Dr. Carlos Gaymer (marine biologist from the University of Coquimbo), Dr. Francisco Squeo (biologist from the University of La Serena), Claudio Ibañez (former director of the Coquimbo Region - his government rejected the mega-project "Dominga"), Elisabeth Balcazar (from Caleta Los Hornos), Rodrigo Flores (from Pt. de Choros) as well as Óscar Avilés (president of the association of fishermen from Pt. De Choros) they provided essential information and were discussing with about 200 participants for almost four hours. The conference can be viewed on the YouTube channel of Alianza Humboldt: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n4xbN_LWinQ. For September Alianza is planning another seminar on the topic „Environment and Constitution“.

+++On 23 August citizens of the region exposed themselves to "Dominga". In short videos they commented on the upcoming sentence of the Environmental Court in Antofagasta. The statements are part of a planned reportage: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCK4r5L5Ya0Sxa5zxGCH8HlQ/videos

+++The decision of the Environmental Court in Antofagasta concerning the mega-project "Dominga" is still pending. Alianza Humboldt is planning to hold a virtual press conference on the day of the sentence, in which scientists and citizens of the region will be involved.

+++In May, environmentalists reported the Consejo Regional (advisory body of the regional government) to the regional supervisory authority (Controlaría Regional de Coquimbo) for violation of the duty of neutrality.  (see also Sphenisco news flash in May). The answer is still pending. 

E U R O P E

+++For several years, Paultons Park in Southampton, England has been supporting the work of SPHENISCO. Once again we very much appreciate a generous donation.

+++The trial phase of the research project to avoid by-catch, which Prof. Culik was implementing on behalf of SPHENISCO at the Landau Zoo, has been completed. At present the results are being evaluated. As reported, the project has attracted an unusually high level of media interest  (see news flash Sphenisco - July).

We have been asked by different sides, including the „Association of Zoological Gardens“ (VdZ), to document the research project. Gabriele and Werner Knauf have started to produce an approx. four-minute film in three languages (German, English, Spanish).

+++ On August 16th a big species protection day was held at Frankfurt Zoo. Due to the pandemic, the activities could not take place as usual. The Frankfurters switched to the internet. They made small videos and thus arranged a theme day on species protection on the internet. One of the films deals with the Humboldt Penguins and goes into detail about the work of SPHENISCO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFj2VjPN2BA&feature=youtu.be

W.K.

translated by Angelika Veelken

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