Chile: unions call for HidroAysén socio-economic impact study -

Chile: unions call for HidroAysén socio-economic impact study

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Chile: unions call for HidroAysén socio-economic impact study

Chile's HidroAysén dam project has caught global headlines for its environment implications, but local unions have also questioned why a socio-economic impact study was not conducted for the region where the dam will be built.

A representative of several Coyhaique region unions has told Radio Agricultura the government needed to regulate the impacts of the project, but had failed to take regional socio-economic matters into account.

"We are productive unions and our toil is not to oppose or be in favor of any project in particular. Our toil has been and will be to face these projects and see how they affect us in our small and fragile economy, and how it touches each of our sectors," Alejandro Cornejo told the radio program Nación Fértil.

"It (HidroAysén) should be in the hands of the region - we firmly believe this could be done as a benefit for the country but also considering the region."

Southern Agricultural Livestock Organization president Marcos Peede told the program the agricultural industry was still waiting for a response to its concerns, with a desire to oversee how the project would be managed.

"We as the affected region would like to define how it's done, so that these projects can be an opportunity and not a threat to productive development, because it's not possible, it's not justice, that a region substitutes its productive projects for the benefit of the rest of the country," Peede said.

Livestock Cluster of Aysén president Pablo Raty took a stronger stand against the government's actions, saying its effect mitigation policy was "absolutely insufficient for the grotesque effect this project will have on the farmers of Aysén".

"Many of us see this project as a key to development, but the truth is the organized community didn't have a chance to discuss the project and we feel the bulldozer ran over us.

"And it's there that we want to pick up the glove of the president and establish a new conversation, discuss a range of issues, and above all what has to be done with mitigation."

Photo: Directorio del Medio Ambiente

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