Thirteen municipalities of communes of the Metropolitan Region in which it is located or borders the river. and the governor of the same area, Claudio Orrego, met to request the Ministry of the Environment that the Mapocho River be declared an urban wetland.
This request contemplates 734 hectares with a length of 77.6 km that pass through 16 communes of the RM. It arose from the “Network of Mayors for Sustainability” and was supported by Orrego.
“I want to thank the work of these 13 mayors and mayors: that beyond any political difference, we have all come together to protect something that belongs to all of them,” said Orrego.
“We are transforming the Mapocho River not only into the indisputable geographical landmark of the city of Santiago, but also into the source of life that our city requires. Together we have to protect it and transform it into a landmark of integration, protection and justice environmental and territorial,” he added.
These thirteen municipalities are: Lo Barnechea, Vitacura, Las Condes, Providencia, Santiago, Recoleta, Independencia, Quinta Normal, Renca, Cerro Navia, Pudahuel, Maipú and Padre Hurtado. The Municipality of Lo Barnechea has been designated to act as coordinator of the declaration process due to its experience requesting the protection of wetlands.
“After a great job by the municipal technical team, we presented to the Seremi MMA the request for the declaration of an urban wetland for the Mapocho river, on behalf of 13 municipalities and the Regional Government. It has been a tremendous job that was reflected in the presence of many mayors and it is a source of pride that all of them trusted Lo Barnechea to make the presentation and coordinate the process that will allow this tributary, so important for the capital, to see its ecosystem protected.” affirmed the mayor of Lo Barnechea, Cristóbal Lira.
In this regard, the Metropolitan Environment Seremi, Sonia Reyes, indicated that “it is true that this implies a lot of work, we are going to review all the information that they give us, however, it is the work that one wants to do, the amount does not matter, the effort, the amount of land, the works, the planimetry, in short, everything that needs to be done, because the result is something we have wanted for a long time, which is the protection of our Mapocho river”.
The objective of the Mapocho River being protected under Law 21,202 of Urban Wetlands is that measures for its protection will be determined from each municipality.
In this sense, the Mapocho River “effectively meets the three delimitation criteria required by law, which are the presence of hydrophytic vegetation, that is, that is associated with bodies of water; the presence of hydric soils with or without drainage, that is, that there is water; and the last one is a hydrological regime of permanent or temporary saturation,” said Hugo Muñoz, creator of the Biocorredor Mapcho El Trebal foundation for the care of biodiversity.