Sphenisco Newsflash September/October +++Sphenisco  Newsflash September/October +++Sphenisco

C H I L E 

Landau 2 November 2020                                                                                                                  

+++5 years ago on the 30th of January2015, the Cruz Grande port project of CMP (Compania  Minera del  Pacfico  S.A) was approved. At the time, SPHENISCO, together with Chilean environmentalists, drew the attention of President Michelle Bachelet and the relevant authorities to the dangers to the sensitive marine region as well as the serious shortcomings in the environmental impact assessment - without success. 

For unknown reasons, CMP has not started the construction of the Cruz Grande port in recent years. The permit was limited to five years and expired at the end of January. At the request of the NGO Oceana, the Ministry of the Environment/ the superintendence of the Coquimbo Region  informed that the permit has not been extinguished (the arguments for this are for us not comprehensible). Oceana is appealing against this decision before the Environmental Court.

+++Conapach (Confederacion Nacional de Pescadores Artesanales de Chile), the national union of coastal fishermen has taken a stand against the megaproject Dominga.

+++The Regional Environment Agency has organized a campaign to combat rats on the breeding islands of  Pajaros  and is implementing the  measures.  

+++Los Djangos are the indigenous people of the Coquimbo Region. They have now been officially recognised as such and are now receiving special rights. As a group, this also gives them the opportunity to sue against measures and projects.

+++SPHENISCO wanted to start a systematic survey of the current numbers of Humboldt Penguins in the 5 most important Chilean breeding areas in winter or southern summer (in cooperation with Prof. A. Simeone, Universidad Andrés Bello, Santiago, Chile, Prof. G. Luna, Universidad  Católica  del Norte, Coquimbo, Chile). The research should be complemented by telemetric studies on foraging behaviour (in cooperation with marine biologist Dr. T. Mattern, NZ Penguin Initiative, University  of  Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand). Because of the pandemic, the research projects were postponed. The Board of Directors is trying to clarify when the survey can begin.

+++ The various initiatives of Defensa Ambiental IV Region and Alianza Humboldt during the lockdown  are described in the October 23rd article, "Chile Protests in Lockdown".

+++The decision of the environmental court in Antofagasta regarding the megaproject "Dominga" is still pending, since March!!?? 

+++In May, environmentalists reported the Consejo Regional (Regional Government Advisory Board) to the Regional Supervisory Authority (Contraloría  Regional de  Coquimbo), for violating their neutrality obligation (see also Sphenisco News Flash in May). The Contraloría upheld the complaint and deemed the Consejo's  opinion to be unlawful and asked the panel to refrain from making any partisan comments during ongoing proceedings. The Consejo has apologized, referred to the conditions of the pandemic (?) and assured that it did not intend to violate the rights of other institutions. 

+++The complaint against the mayor von La Higuera was also successful. The supervisory authority decided that municipalities may not accept donations from participating companies during ongoing proceedings. 


+++On September 13th, the now traditional Great Species Protection Day took place at the Karlsruhe Zoo. Due to Corona there was less of an audience, and of course the possibilities to present themselves were somewhat limited, but for Sphenisco it was a matter of honor to support our zoo member on this day. Sphenisco’s second chairwoman Christina Schubert presented the association to the public at an information stand, supported by the former volunteer of the zoo, Chantal Trauth. Also this year, Chantal’s hand-crocheted penguins as well as river pebbles painted with beautiful animal motifs were a big seller. And, one or the other bottle of penguin wine found new lovers – also a very good way to report about the concerns of the association and the work in Chile and Peru, and a way to come into conversation with the zoo visitors.

+++Small but very special, and also very committed:  a Linux fan club from Schwentinental (a town in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany) is enthusiastic about the Penguin Museum in Cuxhaven. Now the penguin fans have organized a (virtual) flea market for "computer-stuff". They donate the proceeds equally to the Penguin Museum and for the protection of penguins in the wild, i.e. for SPHENISCO. Many thanks to the Linuxlers and the museum.

+++The interim report on penguin research in Landau is available, see article "Search for the Good, the Right Tone” of October 20 and under vimeo at https://vimeo.com/472268366 (in German).

+++In October, SPHENISCO concluded an agreement with the Zoological Society for The Conservation of Species and Populations (ZGAP)  https://www.zgap.de. The ZGAP initiates or financially supports projects to protect little-known, but highly endangered animal species. In the future, it will also draw attention to the serious threat posed to the Humboldt penguin and will endeavour to raise funds for SPHENISCO projects. 


translated by Erich Greiner

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Sphenisco Newsflash September/October +++Sphenisco  Newsflash September/October +++Sphenisco


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