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The activity was carried out on January 22 at the starting point of the Raja de Manquehua protected area; the Regional Secretary of the Environment, Eduardo Fuentealba, the Sustainability Manager of Minera Tres Valles, Sebastián Cortés, the local media and members of the Agricultural Community of Chalinga were present.

This past Monday, January 22nd, the Commitee of Ministers gave the green light to the proposal made by the Farming Community of Chalinga who had been developing the conversion of the iconic landmark, coined Raja de Manquehua, into a Nature Sanctuary since 2013. This initiative not only achieved conservation status for this culturally and ecologically prized natural monument, but also for the well-known Poza Azul (“Blue Pool”), which is included in the preserved area of 2,242 hectares.

The primary study of this project demonstrated the vast biodiversity that stems from this region. For example, it is possible to find three distinctive types of forests, 14 species of brush and 94 classes of flora. This analysis also highlighted the presence of 60 species of fauna, 49 of which are birds with the condor being the most emblematic species of the bunch.

The Ministerial Regional Secretary for the Environment, Eduardo Fuentealba, highlighted the importance of this announcement with the following remark. “We know what it means to the community to declare the Raja de Manquehua as a Nature Sanctuary. Although it is true that an important function is the preservation of natural spaces, we depend on the willingness of private entities [to make them a reality] and this is an example of hard work and dedication by the community. We have managed to develop a triangle between public and private institutions, which in this case is a farming community with more than 2,000 members, and also with the private company, Minera Tres Valles”.

Sebastián Cortés, Sustainability Manager at Minera Tres Valles, which is located nearby the protected area, emphasized the work done alongside the community. “We have generated very strong channels and bridges of communication, which today has made it possible to converse with the community on a daily basis in order to plan projects altogether. We are all key actors who live with one another; the small and medium mining sectors coexist with all areas of the territory, and in that coexistence we have to work harmoniously. We will continue developing our project; and at the same time, we will work on conserving such an important area.”

Arturo Godoy, president of the Farming Community of Chalinga, said that this has been “a long road we have traveled to achieve this goal. We want to highlight the support we have been given by the Ministry and the Ministerial Regional Secretary for the Environment, as well as Minera Tres Valles, who have always wanted this as much as us. It is rare to think that a mining company supports these causes; but in this case, they were always available to the community.