The Republic of Chile, for practicality named Chile, is one of the countries that make up South America. Its territory is very striking since it has a great longitudinal extension but little development across the width. It is also limited to the east by the Andes Mountains and to the west by the Pacific Ocean. As a result, its geography is astonishing and it features a variety of incredible landscapes.
Apart from its scenic beauty, Chile presents diverse natural resources that are the sustenance of its population. Continuing along these lines, this article by Ecologist Verde aims to publicize the Chile's natural resources, not from an extractivist approach but rather to know what their status is and protect them for the future.
Because the country's geography is very diverse, Chile has a huge variety of soils that allow the cultivation of various commercial species, including corn, oats and wheat. However, Chile does not stand out for the production of these crops, but rather for the production of fruit species, being one of the 5 countries in the world that produces the most cherries and blueberries and one of the 10 countries in the world that produces more grapes. kiwis, apples and plums.
If you wonder what the main natural resources of Chile are, possibly within the answer we find mining. Mining resources constitute a important economic activity for Chile since it is the first country in the world in copper production. It also stands out for the production of rhenium, lithium, nitrates, iodine, molybdenum and silver, among others.
Despite the importance of the mining sector in the Chilean economy, it is impossible to ignore the pollution generated by the exploitation of this resource, which causes, in general terms, air, soil and water pollution.
In this other post you can read about How mineral extraction affects the environment.
Chile has a great variety of water resources. In principle, thanks to the characteristics of the relief can be found numerous short rivers that cross the width of the country and run from the Andes Mountains to the Pacific Ocean. Likewise, throughout the country there have been more than 300 lakes, most of them fed by meltwater.
Finally, another very important water resource in Chile is its glaciers. In fact, it is estimated that Chile has around 80 glaciers, many of them shared with Argentina. Unfortunately, Chilean glaciers are not exempt from the effects of climate change and, as a result, many of them are decreasing in area.
Here you can learn why water is a renewable but limited resource.
Another of Chile's main economic activities revolves around aquaculture and fisheries resources. In this country, aquaculture is developed both in the lakes and in the Pacific Ocean, with some of the species that are traded are salmon, trout, sole, anchovy, tuna and sardines, among many others.
Again, it is impossible to miss the huge environmental impact caused by the exploitation of the fishing resource, especially the impact caused by the salmon industry due to the fact that they produce enormous pollution of the Ocean. In addition, many of the species that are raised are exotic and end up displacing the native species of Chile.
Within the renewable resources of Chile, we can mention forest resources. The Republic of Chile has 19.04% of its surface covered by native species forests of which many of them are endemic. In itself, from the forests many ecosystem services are obtained, such as water storage, temperature regulation, carbon dioxide sequestration and soil protection against desertification, among many others.
Although the forest resource is a renewable natural resource, many species that make up the forests, such as coihues, alerces and araucarias, are very slow growing and mature specimens are millenary. Therefore, the regeneration of this type of forest is difficult to observe on a human time scale.
In contrast to the previous section, among the non-renewable resources of Chile are oil resources. Since 1950 Chile began with the intense exploration and exploitation of oil fields. Most of them are located in the south of the country, although there is a deposit located in the center of the territory. Although the use of this resource brought multiple benefits, its exploitation causes a heavy contamination of soil, air and water and, furthermore, the exploitation of the oil resource is the main responsible for climate change.
We recommend you read this other article about Oil Pollution: causes, consequences and how to avoid it. We also advise you to read about these environmental problems in Chile.
Chilean protected areas, regulated by the State Protected Wilderness System, cover 20.4% of the national territory. Thanks to the diversity of protected landscapes that exist, Chile has notably increased the attraction of tourists. In fact, tourism has been one of the main economic activities in the country since 1990.
To learn more about this topic, we recommend reading our articles on What are protected natural areas and The importance of nature reserves and protected areas.
After discovering these natural resources of Chile, you may want to learn more about nature in this country. For this, we offer you our article on the Flora and fauna of Chile.
If you want to read more articles similar to Chile's natural resources, we recommend that you enter our category of Other environment.