Target: Michelle Bachelet, President of Chile
Goal: Thank President Bachelet for canceling the permits that would have allowed the construction of two new dams to destroy two major rivers of Patagonia
Plans to construct a a dam system in the rivers of Patagonia, Chile, have been stopped by Chilean President Michelle Bachelet. The rejection of the $8 billion proposal was recently confirmed when the ministerial committee announced the termination of the project after looking into potential environmental crises that would arise.
Although the idea behind the hydro-electric project has good intentions, providing nearly 3,000 megawatts of electricity for central Chile, it would also require more than 1,000 miles of power lines, jeopardizing Patagonia’s wilderness. The project, which would have five dams built on the Baker and Pascua rivers, the two major rivers of the region, were going to be dammed in an effort to produce more cheaper electricity as well as provide the locals with more jobs, scholarships, and the creation of sea ports. However, the locals resisted the hydro-electric project.
According to ABC News, “About three dozen families would have been relocated, but the dams would have drowned 14,000 acres (5,700 hectares), required carving clear-cuts through forests, and eliminating whitewater rapids and waterfalls that attract ecotourism. They also could have destroyed habitat for the endangered Southern Huemul deer: Fewer than 1,000 of the diminutive animals, a national symbol, are believed to exist.”
Chilean legislators and locals are more concerned with protecting the natural beauty of the Patagonian rivers than industrializing them. Environment Minister Paul Badanier confirms,”A decision was taken to accept the community appeals and void the Environmental Qualification Resolution that approved HidroAysén; so the project is declared rejected by this administrative act.” Sign the petition to thank the President of Chile for preserving this important area and for prioritizing the health of the environment.
Dear President Michelle Bachelet,
Thank you for listening to the Chilean people and making the decision to cancel the permits that would have allowed the construction of five dams to overtake the rivers of Patagonia. The HidroAysén project would have required nearly 1,000 miles of power lines to be erected, industrializing the area and destroying the existing delicate ecosystem.
The Patagonia wilderness is an important place in Chile in which the locals take pride. By choosing to preserve the area you are also preventing innocent people from being forced from their homes due to construction purposes, as well as maintaining ecosystems that have been around for hundreds of years. Your decision will inspire the government to make sustainability a higher priority and potentially listen to the locals when making major economic decisions.
Thank you for devoting your energy to listening to the people of Chile that desired to preserve their country’s wilderness.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Backpackerin via Pixabay