Glacier becomes global nature reserve
A huge area in Chile has been declared a national park. After protests of the civil society, outgoing President Sebastian Piñera announced that the Glacier National Park would cover 75,000 hectares to protect Andean glaciers from the effects of climate change,. A recent study published by the University of Chile warned that glaciers are melting. According to this study, there is less ice, or the existing ice is covered with dark dust particles. Consequently, the darker surfaces reflect less sunlight and warm up. Chile is one of the ten countries in the world with the highest mass of glaciers.
"The glaciers contain 32 times as much water as El Yeso," Piñera told Der Spiegel. El Yeso is a large reservoir that supplies water to the capital city of Santiago de Chile. "The creation of the park is a fundamental step that our country is taking to fight the destruction of nature."
The major glacier water supply Juncal Norte, which supplies the city of Santiago de Chile, has also receded by 670 meters since 1955, more than 20 percent of its total mass. The new Andes National Park is hoped to halt the melting of the glaciers, he said.
It is important to look at the Andean glaciers as one continuous whole and endeavour to defend and protect it both today and for future generations. There are many strong arguments for such protection: the unique nature as described above and that global society is responsible for, the opportunity for a unique tourist experience through sustainable tourism and wealth creation for the nation. Outdoor activities in almost unspoiled nature are also very important for people’s physical health and well-being. Here are several Sustainable Development Goals mentioned which can be achieved by protecting the glaciers and saving them as nature reserve.