6 environmental problems in Chile - The main ones

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There are many environmental problems that the Chilean country presents; However, what pollutes the most in Chile? According to a survey carried out by the National Environment Survey 2022[1], the population notes that the two main problems that contribute to pollution in Chile are air pollution and poor solid waste management.

If you want to know which are the main environmental problems in Chile and their solutions be sure to read this interesting article by Ecologist Verde, which will also talk about socio-environmental problems in Chile.

Atmospheric pollution

The atmospheric or air pollution It's one of the main environmental problems in Chile and continues to increase, especially in industrial and urban areas. In addition, high emissions occur in the wood burning sectors, in power plants and in areas dedicated to smelting copper.

The promotion of the use of public transport and bicycles, the implementation of laws that oblige industries to control their emissions, aid plans for industries so that they can invest in more efficient machinery, construction of green areas and gardens in urban centers and reducing the use of fossil fuels are some of the measures that can be taken to reduce air pollution in regions of Chile.

We recommend you take a look at these other Green Ecologist articles to learn more about this environmental problem:

  • Types of air pollution.
  • Air pollution: causes, consequences and solutions.
  • Measures to avoid air pollution.

Scarcity and contamination of water resources

The water shortage and its pollution It occurs mainly in the north-central area of the country and, in addition, there is a large number of leaks in the water networks. On the other hand, the rainfall regime is altered by the effects of climate change and also, another reason for the scarcity of water, is the abuse of this resource for agricultural, livestock and industrial activities. Implant water quality standards and regularization of its use they can help protect this important resource.

You can learn more about these problems by reading these other posts about Water Scarcity: what it is, causes and consequences and the Causes and consequences of water pollution.

Soil degradation, loss and contamination

Part of Chile's soils are degraded, that is to say, they have lost their physical-chemical properties and, as a consequence, they stop being productive since they are exhausted and impoverished. Some of the reasons that favor degradation are the exploitation of groundwater, extensive agriculture and livestock, intensive logging, the construction of urban centers or forest fires. There are also losses due to the processes of desertification and erosion and many of them present pollutants from industrial, agricultural and livestock activities, without leaving behind the illegal deposition of waste by human beings. Instruments for environmental management, spatial planning, and pollutant concentration levels should be established through laws.

We encourage you to read about What is soil degradation and Soil pollution: causes, consequences and solutions.

Noise pollution

The population is exposed to dangerous noise levels, having detrimental effects not only on human health, but on all animals and other living beings that inhabit the planet. According to experts, high noise levels can disturb the vital patterns of a species, such as reproduction patterns. Noise, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), occurs when it exceeds 65 (dB). The main causes of noise pollution are air traffic, automobile traffic, construction sites, and nightlife and restaurants. The solution for reducing noise must be established by laws, in addition to investment in new less noisy technologies and in electric or hybrid means of transport.

Learn more about what noise pollution is and how it affects us here.

Solid waste management

We continue commenting on what problems affect the environment in Chile and we stop to talk about one of those that most concerns the population, as it is very notable and serious. The population increase and the “use and dispose” lifestyle of products they make the generation of waste ever greater. The problem is aggravated when all the waste generated is not well managed and ends up being deposited in landfills. In Chile approximately more than 95% of solid waste is deposited in landfills, that is to say, they are not managed to give them another use or to recycle them. The circular economy based on recycling, reduction and reuse activities is the main tool to reduce waste generation. Ecodesign is another alternative, as it focuses on the design of sustainable packaging. As well as the prohibition of planned obsolescence and the implementation of waste management systems.

We recommend reading these articles on What is solid waste and how it is classified and What is waste management.

Biodiversity loss

The Chile's biological diversity suffers strong pressure and some of the reasons are the fragmentation and loss of ecosystems Due to anthropic activities, illegal hunting and species trafficking also contribute to the loss of biodiversity in a place. Chile's ecoregions are at dangerous levels of conservation in terms of biodiversity and, in addition, fishery resources have suffered a great decrease. However, the state of native forests and marine ecosystems is not well understood.

For protect biodiversity Protected natural areas must be created and the state of conservation of both the ecosystems and the species that inhabit them must be known, thus being able to assess the state of both.

We recommend you get to know the living beings of this country better by reading these other Green Ecologist articles:

  • Flora and fauna of Chile.
  • 40 native animals of Chile.
  • +40 plants in danger of extinction in Chile.
  • 10 animals in danger of extinction in Chile.

If you want to read more articles similar to Environmental problems in Chile, we recommend that you enter our Pollution category.

  1. Final report. (Santiago de Chile, March 2022). "NATIONAL ENVIRONMENT SURVEY 2022". BID N ° 608897-110-LE17. DIRECTORATE OF SOCIAL STUDIES (DESUC). FROM THE INSTITUTE OF SOCIOLOGY, CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY. (ISUC). Retrieved from: https://mma.gob.cl/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Informe-Final-Encuesta-Nacional-de-Medio-Ambiente-2018.pdf
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