Study: Nearly half of Chile’s land shows erosion
Nearly half of Chile’s land has some degree of erosion, according to a recently released government study.
The report by the Center for Information on Natural Resources (CIREN) says that 49% of land has been affected, endangering efforts to make Chile an agricultural force, according to Revista del Campo, part of the newspaper El Mercurio.
The results do not separate damage due to natural causes or human activity. Not all damage was manmade, and not all of the damaged land can be cultivated, the newspaper said.
Outside the Atacama Desert, the levels of erosion were surprising.
Coquimbo, in the north, had the highest level, with 84% of land showing erosion, followed by Valparaiso, in the central region, with 57% and the O’Higgins region, also in the central region, with 52%
The degradation has happened for several reasons, from a higher emphasis on productivity than sustainability, to having little information on the subject, which makes it difficult to use the most efficient programs, the newspaper said.
More agricultural activity is concentrated solely on production without consideration for the capacity, and there is an organic reduction in the soil, Manuel Casanova, director of the department of engineering and soils at University of Chile, told the newspaper.
The study’s radiography will allow officials to identify the areas that require the most intervention, where the degradation has been accelerated, and where deforestation has occurred. The study could show bad agricultural practices in detail, which is the first step in finding solutions, if Chile aspires to position itself as an agricultural power, the newspaper said.
“With the results, we can establish a method of promoting the most effective and efficient policies for soil conservation,” Juan Pablo Flores, director of the project, told El Mercurio.