Chile is set to be the first country in the Americas to ban plastic bags in coastal cities. Given the extent of Chile’s coastline this can make for a very positive impact on cleaning up our oceans. Plastic bags are a major threat to maritime life so any reduction in use of plastic bags helps the planet. Hopefully Chile’s upcoming ban will inspire other nations to follow suit!
“It will allow citizens to contribute in terms of ocean protection. Thus, we will be the first American country to implement a law of this nature”, added.
Such measure is of vital importance to marine species as these are negatively affected by the presence of plastic in the sea. They are even likely to perish due to the so-called buoyancy disorders.
According to data provided by the Chilean Ministry of the Environment, 90% of sea birds have a certain type of plastic in their stomachs, which urges to pass a law on the matter, specially given that studies foresee that, by 2050, there will be as many fish as plastic in the sea.
Chile has recently decided not to approve a mining proposal in an area that harbours endanger species, including penguins. This is really nice to see since on the other side of South America Brazil has done the opposite by opening up a huge area of the amazon. Let’s hope that Chile is a positive influence on Brazil. In the meantime we can celebrate that Chile is thinking about both the present and the future of our planet and people.
The area is home to 80% of the world’s Humboldt penguins as well as other endangered species, including blue whales, fin whales and sea otters.
Environment Minister Marcelo Mena said: “I firmly believe in development, but it cannot be at the cost of our environmental heritage or cause risk to health, or to unique ecological areas in the world.”
Mr Mena said the decision of the ministerial committee had been based on technical aspects and the evidence of fourteen agencies and was taken without “political considerations.”
Activism works, just ask the Chilean communities that stopped a hydroelectric dam from being built. The dam was going to cause a lot of local ecological havoc with little actual gain to the local populace. The Chilean government has backed down from building the dam and the communities that were to be affected are celebrating the decision. Chile is committed to supporting other forms of renewable energy that won’t cause such environmental damage.
The committee “decided to side with complaints presented by the community,” Environment Minister Pablo Badenier told reporters. “As of now, the hydroelectric project has been rejected.”
Opponents complained that the plan required 5,700 hectares (14,000 acres) of land to be submerged and would involve cutting through swathes of forests to build the dams along the Baker and Pascua rivers. Fears were also expressed that the project, which would have involved the relocation of some three dozen families, would destroy vital habitat for the endangered Southern Huemul deer.
Rescue efforts in Chile have come to fruition today as the first of the trapped miners have been raised to ground level. You may not agree with the reasons the miners were there in the first place, but no one can deny that the pending rescue of 33 miners is incredible. Trapped underground since August 5th, they have endured more time trapped underground than anyone in documented history.
The rescue operation has proceeded nearly as smoothly as could be expected by the team of more than 1,000 that spent so long planning this moment. Crews have had to adjust the door to the capsule, and make other small changes along the way, but the miners have been evacuated almost exactly as planned.
Delirious celebration erupted across “Camp Hope,” the encampment of waiting families and media, as the first miner rescued, Florencio Avalos, emerged.
Read more at The Globe and Mail, or pretty much any news outlet anywhere in the world. This isn’t just good news, it’s big news!