The reuse of treated wastewater in vulnerable rural areas of Chile's arid north is emerging as a new resource for the inhabitants of this long, narrow South American country.
Women social activists recognize that gender equality is gaining ground in Chile, but maintain that there is still a long way to go to turn into reality the promises to "level the playing field" between women and men, while they highlight the importance of addressing the issue of care work.
Sexual harassment and discrimination are daily realities for women on public transport in Chile and also an obstacle for plans to expand mass transit in order to reduce pollution in several cities in this South American country.
Good management of the 101 hydrographic basins which run from the Andes mountain range to the Pacific Ocean is key to solving the severe water crisis that threatens the people of Chile and their main productive activities.
The Chilean government tightened controls on the northern border to curtail the influx of migrants, especially Venezuelans, along a 1,030-km stretch of border with Bolivia and Peru.
Management areas in Chile for benthic organisims, which live on the bottom of the sea, are successfully combating the overexploitation of this food source thanks to the efforts of organized shellfish and seaweed harvesters and divers.
Mapuche indigenous leaders were hit hard by what they see as a collective defeat: the rejection in a September referendum of a plurinational, intercultural constitution proposed to Chile by an unprecedented constituent assembly with gender parity and indigenous representatives.
The Energy Efficiency Law
began to gradually be implemented in Chile after the approval of its regulations, but more efforts and institutions are still lacking before it can produce results.
In Magallanes, Chile's southernmost region, doubts and questions are being raised about the environmental impact of turning this area into the world's leading producer of green hydrogen.
Renewable energies, especially solar and wind power, are growing inexorably in Chile, driven by large companies. But community generation of alternative energy is not taking off, despite a law promoting it.
Local leaders of the Rural Sanitation Services (RSS) warn that the digging of illegal wells by large agro-export companies in Chile is aggravating the effects of drought and threatening drinking water supplies and social peace.
The manufacture in Chile of an electric bus christened Queltehue, a wading bird native to the country, is another step towards electromobility and in the fight against pollution that triggers frequent environmental crises and smog emergencies in Santiago and other cities.
A health crisis that in 20 days left 500 children poisoned in the adjacent municipalities of Quintero and Puchuncaví triggered the decision to close the Ventanas Smelter, in a first concrete step towards putting an end to a so-called "sacrifice zone" in Chile.
A Chilean government plan seeks to ensure connectivity in remote areas, in a first step to address a deep digital divide among the country's inhabitants that includes a lack of access to technology and digital education deficits, exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Patagonia’s strong winds are driving projects that will place Magallanes, in the extreme south of Chile, in a privileged position to produce and export green hydrogen and help the country move towards carbon neutrality.
The pressure of the influx of migrants, especially Venezuelans, has reached a critical level in northern Chile, and is felt as far as the capital itself, forcing the government that took office in March to create a special interministerial group this month to propose solutions that respect their human rights.
The Pacific Ocean could quench the thirst caused by 10 years of drought in Chile, but the operation of desalination plants of various sizes has a long way to go to become sustainable and to serve society as a whole rather than just corporations.
Chile could change the course of its history and become a diverse and multicolored country this year with a “plurinational and intercultural state” that recognizes and promotes the development of the native peoples that inhabited this territory before the Spanish conquest.
The failure of Chile's immigration policy, with its toll of deaths, xenophobic sentiments but also shows of solidarity, will be a pressing matter for the incoming administration of Gabriel Boric, who takes office on Mar. 11, and for the drafters of the new constitution, who will include the issue in the text that is to be ready in July.
Camps made up of thousands of tents and shacks have mushroomed in Chile due to the failure of housing policies and official subsidies for the sector, aggravated by the rise in poverty, the covid-19 pandemic and the massive influx of immigrants.
More than 90 percent of Chile's 17.5 million people have access to electricity. But many live in energy poverty because they do not have access to hot water, have unsafe connections, houses without thermal insulation and with indoor pollution, or can't afford to pay the monthly bill.