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Minister visits Valdivia and supports its nomination as Wetland City

Sunday, May 12th 2024

With a navigation on the Río Cruces and Cau Cau, bordering Isla Teja, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alberto van Klaveren, reaffirmed his support for the application of Valdivia as a Wetland City.

In February 2024, the State of Chile applied to the Ramsar Convention for Valdivia to become part of the international category of "Wetland City", an initiative that was led by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and coordinated by public and private entities.

In this regard, the Minister stressed the importance of wetland conservation, pointing out their crucial value, especially "at a time when the planet is experiencing a triple environmental crisis: the crisis caused by the loss of biodiversity; caused by pollution and, above all, also caused by climate change. It is precisely in this context that wetlands acquire a very special value. Wetlands are, in fact, life, wildlife. They are fundamental.

Currently, 43 cities worldwide have this recognition and Valdivia could become the first city in Latin America to have this classification. The decision by the Ramsar Convention will be delivered in the months prior to the Conference of the Parties (COP), in July 2025.

Among the attributes of qualifying as a wetland city is that it will promote conservation and scientific research, in addition to projecting Valdivia as a center for ecological tourism, along with providing more opportunities and economic access to the capital of the Los Ríos region.

"Valdivia has a very promising future in terms of tourism, and in addition to that, the preservation of wetlands is completely compatible with other economic activities, to the extent that these other economic activities have a sustainable character," said the minister.

Valdivia has 77 wetlands in urban areas, with an area of 2,805 hectares, and 10 periurban wetlands, with an area of 442 hectares, transforming the city into a habitat for a number of native species and migratory birds.

During the navigation, the minister was accompanied by the regional governor, Luis Cuvertino; the presidential delegate of the Los Ríos Region, Jorge Alvial; the mayor of the Municipality of Valdivia, Carla Amtmann and Senator Alfonso de Urresti, among other authorities and representatives of the area.