Conservación Cochamó is a grass-roots nongovernment organization started by a group of friends who live in, work in and love the Cochamó Valley. The organisation is open to anyone who wants to get involved not just in stopping the destruction of the valley from hydroelectric projects, but also aims to conserve this unique environment in an intelligent way to create a model for sustainable use of natural resources for future generations, protecting traditional life, culture and identity in order to make a protected area.
The creation of model park devoted to Cochamoacute; Valleys conservation of its natural resources and local culture.
Sustainable use of the valley promoting local development and responsible tourism.
To add as much layers of protection as possible to guarantee the natural's river flow to the ocean.
So far, we are focused in:
Legal strategy. Teaching ourselves and consulting with a broad range of environmental lawyers, we are building an effective legal strategy to prevent or at least delay the acquisition of water rights by hydro-power companies who have seven projects that would destroy the 25 kilometers of Cochamo River and the tributaries of La Junta and Valverde.
Request to the Chilean government the maximum water protection. We have studied the Chilean Water Law and have requested to the National Water Bureau (DGA) the maximum protection for the river flow of the valley. This means the DGA can not deny the water rights to the electric companies but they can determinate a minimum ecologic flow up to 40 percent plus a touristic flow up to 20%. They can also reserve up to 70 percent of the river following a presidential decree regarding the national interest in conservation and local development.
Public Awareness. We facilitate visits to the valley by world-class photographers and liaise with prominent national and international media to generate the broadest possible publicity about the Cochamó and neighboring valleys and the threats they face. Diffusion of our campaign and the extraordinary economic potentials of using the valley for eco tourism and local development.
Advocacy and Education. We make fact-based presentations to community leaders and officials from relevant government agencies, obtaining signed letters in opposition to the destruction of the Cochamó Valley, and educate the public on issues of forestry protect, garbage, and sustainable use practices by eco tourism.
Community Projects. We are organizing community conservation projects to rehabilitate sections of the old Cochamó Trail - the historic path through the valley - worn by decades of erosion, and work to re-build the population and distribution of native threatened species such as the Alerce that were over-exploited or otherwise depleted by human activity over the past century.
Conservación Cochamó's mission is the conservation of nature. Using the best available scientific knowledge, we work to preserve the diversity and abundance of life in Cochamó, the health of ecological systems and create a space for people to enjoy the area's natural. We are committed to reversing the degradation of our planet's natural environment by focusing on this unique region, and building a future in which human needs are met in harmony with nature.