Chile is home to 82% of the glaciers in South America. These glaciers constitute one of the largest freshwater reserves in the world. They are also vital to the preservation of vulnerable local ecosystems and biodiversity, particularly in times of drought. In a warming planet, protecting all glaciers is essential.
However, Chilean law does not protect the glaciers and has allowed their destruction at a record pace at the hands of several mining projects. In fact, Chilean state-owned CODELCO (the world’s largest copper producer) has destroyed about 342 hectares of glaciers in the Andes in the past decades. Other mining projects from Barrick, Antofagasta Minerals and Anglo American continue to raze glacial areas and remain a direct threat to Chilean water reserves. This must stop, forever.