Building consensus through assessment evidence from San Pedro de Atacama, Chile

Bernardo Broitman, Eric Sproles, Craig Weideman, Sonia Salas, Cristian Geldes, Antonia Zambra, Leticia González-Silvestre, Lorena Bugueño

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Over the past decade San Pedro de Atacama (SPA), Chile and its nearby communities have experienced considerable socio-economic changes associated with a growing population, increased tourism, and industrial mining. In this hyper-arid region these changes have led to local challenges related to the sustainable management of two key ecosystem services (ESs): water and ecotourism. The overarching goal of the ProEcoServ-Chile (ProEcoServ-CL) Project was to develop a participatory decision-making process at the local level to generate a strategy for the sustainable management of ESs from a multi-sectorial perspective. A primary challenge in developing these strategies was limited data regarding water resources and ecotourism. The project team applied satellite data (for water resources) and social media posts (for ecotourism) to develop a baseline understanding of the two ESs in the region. These data and insights were transitioned into a Decision Support Tool to streamline access to information gathered by the initiative and empower stakeholders to participate with policy and decision makers involved in spatial planning and management of ecosystems, and the ESs they supply. Additionally, an economic valuation of water provisioning with regards to ESs was conducted in SPA, which informed decision makers at the local, regional and national level with regards to economic development planning in SPA. All of the components of this project allowed local and regional actors to be part of the data collection, modelling, assessment and mapping of ESs. This protracted process was critical to strengthening the adaptive governance capacities and social learning skills regarding ecosystem services. ProEcoServ-CL represents a collaborative effort led by the Centro de Estudos Avanzados en Zonas Áridas (CEAZA) in partnership with the Chilean Ministry of Environment and the municipality of San Pedro de Atacama (SPA).

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMainstreaming Natural Capital and Ecosystem Services into Development Policy
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages28
ISBN (Electronic)9781315531205
ISBN (Print)9781138693111
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes


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