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Mapuche Struggles for Land and the Role of Private Protected Areas in Chile

Laura E. Meza
Consultant for tbe Eoacl c^' Agiiciilttinil Orgeini^ation of the 'nite Nations (HAO) Multidisciplinary Team for Sotith Ameiicu Santiago, Chile

Abstract The Chilean system of public protected areiis (Pl'As) has several pniblcms thai restrici its capacity in the process of biodiversity conservation. Since A large portion of the territory is privately owned, private protected areas are increasingly considered an important element to address national conservation goals. International and local non-governmental organizations (NGOs), companies, communities, and private landowners have created more than 5(H) private conservation projects in Chiie in the last decade. This research describes the conflicts to extend private conservati<in on indigenous territories. Using interviews with experts from academia, NGOs, business, imgenous communities, and public agencies, the research reveals that conservation is not a "tension-free" terrain and that certain policies could exacerbate conflicis of interest related to Mapuche territory. Indigenous communities can assume control over natural resources tor conservation purposes and by creating ot indigenous parks. However, the ability of these communities to conduct conservation projects is limited by the lack of funds which compromises the sustainability of the projects. Two questions follow this debate: Is there political resistance to the indigenous parks idea, and what is ihe role of conservation organizations in sponsoring the creation of indigenous parksP
Keywords: public protected area.', coruervation, parks, indigenous land, conjlicts, Chile

El sisicma pblico de reas pnncgidas en Chile tiene varios problemas que restringen su capacidad para conservar la hiodiversidad. Debido a que gran parte del territorio es privado, las reas protegidas privadas son cunsideradas, cada vez ms, como un elemento importante para alcanzar las meias de conservacin en el pas. Organizaciones no gubernamentales, nacionales como internacionales, propietarios individuales, comunidades y empresas privadas han creado cerca de 50(1 provectos de conservacin privada en ios ltimos diex aos. Sin embargo, en territorios indgenas donde existen conflictos territoriales agudos, la creaci<)n de PPA ha sido limitada, tista investigicin describe los conflictos que extender la conservacin privada a territorios indgenas trae aparejado. Mediante el uso de entrevistas con expertos de la academia, ONCs, empresas, comunidades indi;enas y agencias pblicas, esta investigacin evidencia que la conservacin no es un terreno lilire de tensiones y que ciertas polticas pueden exacerbar conflictos de inters relacionados a! territorio Mapuche. Las comunidades indgenas pueden asumir el control de ios recursos nattiralcs para fines de conservacin creando parques privados. Sin embargo, la habilidad de esas comunidades csi limitada por ia falta de recursos ecoiiiimicos, lo cual compromete la sustentabidad de dichos proyectos. Dos preguntas se desprenden del debate: ;F.xiste una resistencia poli'tica a la creacin de parques indgenas?, y ^Cul es el rol de las organizaciones de ccinservacin en auspiciar la creacicin de dichos parques?

journal of ] ^itin American Geography. S (1), 2l)(")9


journal of Latin American Geography

Palabras cla\-e: reas pblicas protegida.^, tierras indigenas, consen'acin, cmflictos, parques, Chile

Introduction Despile important environmental protection measures taken by the Chilean government in the past decade, natural resources and biodiversity remain threatened. A 2005 report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) shows the inadequacy of nature conservation in the country fCONANlA 2005). The Chilean challenge is to conserve unique ecosystems while growing an economy based on natural resources. Due to the difficulties with establishing new public parks, private protected areas (PPAs) constitute both a complement to, and an alternative for, conservation strate,tiies in many countries. Worldwide, private conservation initiatives continue expanding, although they remain largely unrecognized by the academic community (L'phoff and Langholz, I")'>8; Kramer et al, 2000; Ungholz, 2(H)3). In the last decaiie, numerous private conser\'ation initiatives have been undertaken, followed by a debate about the appropriate mechanisms to promote conservation and the role of the private sector in conservation. There are 500 PPAs in (^hile, covering roughly 1.5 million hectares (2"/. of the totai land area) (CONAiNU 200.S). The ten largest PPAs cover I million hectares, and were created by philanthropists and international conservation NGOs such as the World Wild Fund (W^'F), Conservation Land Trust (C:LT), Patagonia I ^md Trust (PLl^, The Nature Conservancv iTNC), and Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). SmaUer-sized PPAs have been established by a variety of stakeholders, including corporations, research institutions, tourism entrepreneurs, NtiOs, and indigenous communities. Despite the promotion of PPAs in (^hile, only a few private reserves have been established in the Mapuche territory (mainly regions VIII, IX, XIV and X) (I'ij^re 1). The Mapuche territory brings together several stakeholders and their Cijntlicting interests, including indigenous interests, large forestry companies, and conservation NGOs. While private businesses legally "own" a large proportion of ancient Mapuche land, the indigenous communities claim those lands as their own. There is an ongoing violent conllict between forestry companies and Mapuches that had caused n< only economic H loss, but also human lives, in order to improve the condition of indigenous communities, the Chilean government has granted land to the Mapuches via a program of land acquisition. The challenge is to rectify historical injustices against this indigenous peopie, and to rest)ive current conflicts between them and the forestry sector. In the balance between economic development, indigenous peoples' cultural preservation, and the conservation of natural resources, private conservation can be both part of the problem and the solution. On the one hand, indigenous land claims are in conflict with private conservation efforts, because both are competing for the same land. On the other hand, some indigenous communities are showins; interest in creating their own conservation projects, despite the laek of incentives for the involvement of local communities in conservation projects. This study reviews how nature governance is conducted in Chile by drawing on cases of PPAs that are situated in indigenous territ{)ry. The following questions are addressed: What happened when conflicting interests chumed indi^iienous lands? What is the role of PPAs in solving (hose conflicts?

Private ProtectetI Areas in Chile



700,000" 600,000 500,000 400,000 300,000 200,000


n Public Protected Areas

Private Protected Areas

Figure I. Distribution ot protected areas per region in hectares. Two lines of investigation arc presented: first, a description of the historical processes that explain conflicts in indigenous lands; second, the emergence of PPAs as a potential solution to those conflicts. "Open-ended" interviews were applied with experts from tffereni kinds ot organizations related tu PPAs, trom academia, forestry companies, internati(3nal and national NGOs, and an indigenous organization. There is not an inherent conflict between indigenous demands and consei^'iition prerogatives. ConHict appears only when a priority- is assigned to one of these demands. Nature conservation is not a "tension-free" terrain and it is clear that certain policies can exacerbate conflicts of interest related to Mapuche territory. Indigenous communities can assume control over nattiral resources for conservation purposes by creating indigenous parks. However, there are genuine doubts about the ability of these communities to conduct conser\'ndon project without resources and incentives. Two questions are central to the debate: How to overcome political resistance to the indigenous parks idea, and what IS the role of conservation organizations in sponsoring the creation of indigenous parks?


Journal of Latin .'\merican Cieography

T h e People of t h e L a n d In the native language. Mapuche means "people thai belong to earth." The Mapuche people are the largest and most organized Indigenous group in Chile, which also includes the Pehuenche and Huilliche people. The Mapuche are on ihe lowesi social caste strata in a highly unequal Chilean society, considered poorer than the poorest rural individuals. For generations the Mapuche have been subjected to racial discrimination. They are concentrated in areas of poor soil qualitv' and low ctiltivation productivity, which makes it difficult for them to sustain themselves (Kay, 20()2). Statistics indicate that the incidence ot poverty is 2') percent among the indigenous, compared to 20 percent among the non-indigenous population of Chile (MIDEPL,\N 2003). Thus, the chance of being poor is 56 percent greater if one is indigenous. On average, indigenous families receive almost halt the income of non-Indigenous families, and 65 percent of the indigenous families are within the lowest two quartiles of income distribution. In (erms oi education, the average amount of time spent in school among indigenous peoples is about 2.2 years belmv the average of non-indigenous individuals, which make them more likely to obtain unskilled jobs. Mapuche were the native inhabitants of central and southern Chile before the Spanish conquest, "l'heir original territory is believed to extend over two mtllion hectares. Since Mapuche territory was incorporated into the Chilean state at the end of the nineteenth century, the Mapuche have systematically been deprived of their ancestral territory (Aylwin, 2002). In the early twentieth century, a policy which offered incentives to ['European settlers resulted in thousands of new settlers occupying their land. During the 1980s, a policy promoting forestry expansion (Decree Law 70!) again dispossessed ihe Mapuche in favor of Iarge forestry companies. The historical transformation of the land tenure system and the implementation of liberal policies in Chile have resulted in the formation of a rural landscape that is mostly privately owned {W'^u) and predominantly in the hands of medium to large-si/ed entrepreneurial landowners. Sm;il properties and local communities have a marginal representation (Silva, 2tH)4). The expansion ot forestry farms still occurs in areas where settlements ot indigenous people exist. It has generated the marginal7;aiion of the Mapuche , who have been obliged to sell their land, which has often resulted in violent disputes between indigenous communities, the forestry companies, and the government (Armesto et al., 2001; Silva, 2(.X)4). Armesto ct ai. {2001), however, stress that more than a half a million people of indigenous ancestry still live in "elose association with forests" in centnil and southern Chile. With the passage of the lntligenous l^iw, the Chilean government establisheil a program to return land to indigenous eommunities. However, the program has been criticized because of the low fertility- and productivity of the land, which is usually degraded, and because of the inadequacy of technical assistance offered to support tlie communities. Because of these problems, the Mapuche have noi been able lo take advantage of the law to rebuild their communities and to protect their natural environment . Mapuche conflict The historical process ot land dispossession, the current precarious condition ot the Mapuche communities, and the permanent exclusion of the group in the national political structure explain tlie emergence of conflict in the Araucania region. During the l')8()s there was no room for political action. In the l'WOs, the return ot democracy opened a new scenario for political activism. According to Vergara et al. (2004), this is the starting point of the Mapuche ethnic revival.

Private Protected Areas in Chile


.Mapuche land disputes are concentrated primarily in tbe Araucania Region, which includes theH''', 9''' 10'''and 14''' national regions (I igure 2). Such disputes involve violent protests, land invasion, damages to private properly, and criminal prosecutions, Sw{)rd (2001) observes that there is not one unified "Mapuche Movement"; she points oui thai there are many movements and many changing demands. Contesse (2004) classifies ihe Mapuche protest as a "new social movement", based on ethnic identity. W'hl cire the Mapuche denmnds Not only is it imperative t<j overcome material povert)' and economic marginalisation of indigenous communities, but also to overcome their political marginalization and exclusiMi from the decision-making process. The relation between the Mapuche ;ind the ('hilean state has historicaUy been unfriendly. Vergara et al. observe that the post-dictatorial governments' attempts to improve this relationship have failed. NXIiile democracy increased Mapuche expectations, the response of the state was limited to the constitutional recognition of Mapuche people as the original inhabitants of Chile. Furthermore, the Constitutional Court closed the possibilities of the recognition of collective rights by declaring that "|Mapuchesj do not constitute an autonomous collective entity" (Vergara it al. 2004). i'ontessc (20O4) emphasizes that the relation between Mapuche and the state remains contentifius and ambiguous because the State continues to disregard their territorial demands, suggesting that a technocratic and elitist Chilean government is predisposed towards addressing economic development, whether successful or not, while it postpones the political integration of the Mapuche and completely avoids the subject of autonomy. Nonetheless, the Mapuche have gained some political representation dtiring the democratic period. (X)NADl includes dircctly-elecied indigenous representatives, iis well as advised and directed government programs to assist the economic development of indigenous people.' The government, and international donors, such as the Ford and Avina Foundations, funds a significant number of grassroots organizations and Mapuche NGOs in an effort to empower the Mapuche, and human rights NGOs, such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, have denounced the Chilean state on behalf of the Mapuche, They have even taken legal action against the Chilean state at international levels. This suggests that, though still in an imperfect transitional democracy, the M-.ipuche people maintain possibilities of political maneuvering. 1^1wher Companies verstis Alapuche Lumber companies are the largest landholders throughout most of southern Chile. There are two major lumber companies controlling the timber market, (~MPC and Arauco. These companies bought large portions of land at very low prices during the 1980s, by taking advantages of the attractive incentives fashioned by the government tt) promote the logging industry (Altieri and Rojas, 1999; Silva, 2004). Forest companies have ctintinued to acquire iantl throughout the I'l90s, mostly by purchasing privaie plots from small farmers in economic difficulties, indigenous communities, and absentee landowners. These Chilean consortia have great influence in national politics. The Angelini group {ARAUCO) and the Matie Family (CMPC:) are listed on the 2005 Forbes World's Richest People list. The Mapuche declared themselves victims of these large economic entities who are in close alliance with, and supported by, the Chilean state. According to Mapuehe opinion they have priwoked contiiets tbat have led to the miLtarization of Mapuche villages (Coordinadora Mapuehe 2(K)3). The forestry companies have openly


[oiimal (if Kaiin American Geography

l'igure 2. Araucania repi'in (afier Torreji>n y ("isternas, 20(12). criticized the governmental intervention related to Mapuche conllicts, arguing ihai ihe state should do more. The interviewee of Mininco forestry company (CMPC) declared: Did we commit a sin? No. Should we have cared about everything related to this? No, probably nci. And when the indigenous communities claim their ancestral rights and things like that, the State declares that it is a problem between private entities. It is an asserticjn against the State, f lowever, we are close to them [indigenous[ and we are the first to suffer the attacks. The crjmpanies have lobbied for the Native Forest Law, which has been trapped for a dcatie in the (Congress. Silva (l'W7) argues that "(Zhile is a cctuntry lead by ecotioniically powerfui conglomerates that are capable of defeating the bill." His skepticism regarding the legitimacy of the bill and the infiuence of big corporations in the final version (f the forest law is shared by some interviewees. The Mapuche organisations feel that ihe policies to protect the Native Forest Law would serve to continue the expansion of plantations, "annexing Mapuche territory and exploiting the vulnerability that these communities and small scale peasants are suffering from" (Coordinadora Mapuche, 2W3). Numerous NGOs have expressed their concern aboui the potential negative social im-

Private Protected Areas in Chile


plications of this Law." The performance of these companies is cltisely observed by international agencies, and regulated by international standards with regard to social and environmental concerns. In a successful international campaign promoted by NGOs toward native forest conser\'ation,' CMPC and ARALICO and a number of Chilean and US environmental NGOs signed an agreement whereby lhe companies agreed to conserve the areas of native forest existing on their properties - representing 2.8yn of the total surface of the native torests in the country - and not replace them with plantations of exotic species. Due to forest certification standards Forestal Mininco (part of CNfPC holding) has implemented a so-called "Good Neighbor Program" to improve its relation with the indigenous communities.

Conservation and the Mapuche Movement

After being censured ftr their lack ot promotion oF local peoples' participation, particularly indigenous communities, in conservation projects, international conservation bodies are now paying more attention to the social impacts of their projects. In 199*), the World Commission on Protected Artas (IUCN) implemented guidelines emphasizing co-management of protected areas, agreements between indigenous peoples and conservation bodies, indigenous participation, and recognition of indigenous peoples' rights to use their lands and territories (Jeanrenaud, 2(tU2). Moreover, the commitment of the international eommunity to the Millennium Development Goals has set a new challenge to find ways for protecting nature along with reducing poverty. In (lle, international and national conservation NG(.)s have aided the Mapuche movement by denouncing the situation facing Mapuche communities because of forest plantation expansion. By the same token. Mapuches declare that "they are not conservation projects, but against forestry companies' interests" (Coordinadora Mapuche, 2003). In some cases conservation interests have c<iincided with indigenous community interests and a coalition has been formed to confront a menace tt biodiversitv and livelihiKids. The formation of this kind of partnership has mutual benefits, where indigenous interests serve conservation interests, and vice versa. The 'Golden Spring Lumber' project in Chilo, and the 'Highway in Valdivia', are two examples set in indigenous lands where the opposition from indigenous communities to the projects was strongly supported iiy conservation NGOs. As a result of that opposition, the projects were halted and the areas are now being privately protected. On the other hand, competition for land creates tension between conservation groups and indigenous groups. The representative of the Chilean NGO CODiFI-" ( Comit Nacional Pro Defensa de la l''iora y Fauna) declared that: "There are a lot of organisations that don't want to work there |Araucatiia region) because of indigenous conflict. Even some forestry companies have sold their land and left because they don't want problems. It is not our case, because we have other objectives." Redford (2OO.'i) stresses that in the politics (jf conservation, it has become difficult to ignore the interests of local or indigenous communities. The conservation literature agrees on the vital role of local people in the conservation of biodiversity. )eanrenaud (2002) points out the shifting paradigm in conservation away fVoin exclusive protected areas and towards more people-centered approaches ami community-based ccmservation projects. In Chile, however, that new conservation fashion has not been promoted, either by governmental aj^encies or by conservation NGOs. It is true that international


journal of Latin American Geography

conservation NGOs have created the largest PPAs in Chiie, but only one case is located where indigenous land claims exist: the Chauhin-Venecia project in Region XIV.

Private parks on Mapuche land

Three cases of PPAs, set in indigenous territories, are here selected (lgure 3) to illustrate the outcomes of divergent interests over indigenous lands. The tirst case is a small project conducted by various indigenous communities. The second example is a medium sized project organized by an international NGO. The third example is a large private park created by an entrepreneur that had generated conflict with neighboring indigenous communities. Mapii l^hual netii'ork of hidigemmsparks The indigenous association "Mapu Lahual" of Butahuillimapu has a community-based conservation project in Huilliches' lands in Region IX. The community' has implemented a network of six pn)tected areas covering mort' than 1,000 hectares of coastal temprale rainforest. The idea is to increase family income and to diversify (heir economic activities in areas where many communities live below the poverty line. The project has been supported by the W'Wr who on its Web page (2CH16) declares: "Mapulahual demonstrates thai it is possible to recognize the rights of indigenous peoples and achieve conservation go;ils in the snme areas." Inicrvicv.' data provided an excellent evaluation of Mapu Lahual as a conservation project conducted by an indigenous commutiitj'. The V N T interviewee highlighted the CO fact thai this initiative was spontaneously initiated from within the community. Oviedo et al. (2002) mention that the initiative was greatly encouraged by a change in the way the Chilean government engages with communities. Now there are many activities initiated by communities or third parties that work with communities. One of the most motivating or surprising things to me is that many grassroots organizations are initiating and innovating in conser\'ation. Many of them have ideas related lo conservadon and afterwards they request technical support. [Fhrough this process| sophisticated and interesting initiatives have been created. The Mapu Lahual Network of protected areas is an example in that direction. The idea was born there and it is growing because of a group of leaders who are highly prepared (W>X'F representative) On the other hand, the spokesperson for 'Parques para Chile' revealed that in the Mapu Lahuai area there are communities that "do not believe in conservation." Accortling to this interviewee, "this aspiration |for conser\ing nature] should be shared by the communities beyond their leaders." The CODFiFl' representative highlights [he impossibility of giving legal protection to PPAs in indigenous lands, due to the legal status of intligenous lands. According lo the interviewee, the long-lerm commitment for conservation is a du!)ious point: Mapu Lahual is a fantastic experience. The community is committed. Nevertheless, the dark side is that today the community' agrees to conserve, but tomorrow they can change. The indigenous land cannot be burdened pabeled as protected], it means that sanctuaries cannot be created in these lands. There is some pro\nsion in the indigenous law to avoid these lands being sold or traded. Then it creates doubts about the conservadon in the long term, because you don't know what will happen. It is difficult to consider these areas

Private Protected Areas in Chile


Mapu Lahual Chahuin-Venecia 'CHILE

Map Area

Indigenous communities want to create and implement their own protected areas; the relation bet-ween nature conservation and ecotourism being viewed as an opportunity. The I luilliche spokesperson believed that conservation is good for future generations as welJ as tor the development of a socially responsible ethic in tourism. He argued that tourism should be a means to learn and to protect Huilliche culture; he continues: So the park -the indigenous park- has two objectives. The tirst is to conserve for future generations; they will know what a \anttd ox ^monito del monte' is, all of which is part of our biodiversity. And when we are grandfathers, we will not need to tell stories of what was once here. Instead, this is here now, and it has


Journal ot Latin American Geography been here alwavs, because we had enough intelligence to keep it. And second, because it is important Ut conserve to maintain a socially responsible tourism, whicli has no race or frontier, iis only condition is to respect human digtiiiy.

I hnvever, there are only a small number of concrete initiatives conducted by indigenous communities with Mapu Lahual being the most commented upon. One of the reasons that only a few indigenous commutiities are involved in PPAs, according to the Huilliche spokesperson, is a lack of support from the government Nonetheless, he declared that "we also plan to have future parks in al! ot our communities, Iiut the most emblematic will be south of the Chilo National Park." C/jhti/n-1 In 2003 TNC acquired 60,000 hectares at public aucuon following the bankruptcy ot a forestry company. Since then, the Nature i-onservancy and WWF' have been managing the Valdivian Coastal Reserve site (named C^bahuin-Venecia). According to the TN(~ web page (accessed 2009): "we are working closely with neighboring fishing villages and indigenous communities to maintain traditional land uses and encourage compatible local economic development as part of the reserve's overall conservation strategy." In 2006 the VCWF web page declaretl that the designation ot the property as a reserve is part of a larger partnership among the Conservancy, World Vi'ildlife Fund, local organizations, and the (Chilean environmental agency (CONAMA). Tlic interviewee from CONAMA observes that this PPA was created because there was a development project that constituted a menace to biodiversity. The reason why most of the projects are in the 10"' region is because of a low anthropological intervention that allows finding pristine areas particularly in the coastal mountain range. And that is the reason why the highway project aroused contlict. Interestingly, W ^ T and TNC buy Chahuin-N'enecia property where the highway is planning to go through. There are indigenous land claims in the vicinity of the Chahuin-Venecia Protected Area. Cooper (2003), referring to this case, argues that even if Chile does not comply with international norms regarding indigenous rights, and therefore does not force others to do so. international conservation NGi^s should comply with these norms and should Iranster these rights to the indigenous communities. WWT- declares that they are evaluating ways to integrate the participation ot communities living off the management of the area. Taiitcituo Pctrk Sebastian Pinera, a businessman and presidential catididate in the election of lanuary 2006, developed a I30,(K)0-hectares nature reserve on Chilo Island. The project is one of the largest private reserves located on indigenous land, it had generated conflicts because the Huilliches people, a subgroup of Mapuches, claim indigenous land use and ownership. Huilliche communities living in the area have questioned the project since the idea was presented to public opinion in 2(KI4. Pinera carried out a contest to name his private protected area in Chilo, but reluctance remains in local communities. The leader of the MuiUiche Federation expresses opposition to the project:

Private Protected Areas in Chile


With regard tt> Pinera our feebng is thai there is a big injustice because these lands are essentially fluilliche. And from morning to night to see them in the h:inds i>t one person, who certainly mighi have good intentions, I'm not judging his inteniions, but because he has money some would say he can afff>rd this big luxury. For the academic interviewee Piera's interest in conservation is seen as a positive sij;nal from the traditional entrepreneurial class in Chile, a shift in environmental concern by an important member of this social group. T h e interviewee from the government (CONAMA) thinks that the motivation of Pinera to conserve is because of economic profit. T h e representative oPParques para Chile' declared that Pinera is an enigma. T h e interviewee from the Forest Company questioned ihe legitimacy of philanthropic motivations ot Pinera declaring that "he can play being a philanthropist." Huilliches had questioned the participation of Adriana Hoffmann, a very well-known environmentalist, in supporting Pinera's project by declaring that: ... |a few| years ago, she supported us against the Colden Springs project. Today the scenario has changed and she is now working for the park, which means that she is now denving OUT indigenous rights {El nsular, 7 June 2(1(15). Asked about this contlict, she commented: "I told Pinera to include indigenous peoples; otherwise il will be very difficult to work there." The interest ot the entrepreneurial class to create l*PAs is seen as positive signai and something that need tf> be promoted. However, as Langholz (2003) argues, PPAs could allow large landowners to keep their landholding while maintain the status quo with indigenous communities. The three cases illustrate what happens at the intersection of conservation prerogatives and indigenous demands. Indigenous groups are using a discourse abou! the indigenous inherited aptitude toward nature conservation lo reinftirce their identity as "people of the land" and to assert land claims and governance over the land. The case of the Chahuin-Venecia protected area is an example of an alliance between indigenous groups and conservation NCit )s as away ot gaining legitimacy in tcrritoriesin which they are confronting a threat to their livelihood or existence. In ihis relationship, both groups - M a p u c h e and conservation organi^iations reciprocally influence their narratives. Yet the solutiiin for the indigenous demands for land is not res(j!ved. Tantauco illustrates a clash between Mapuche tntercsts and conservation's interests, provoking the question: should conservation have priority over indigenous demands or \ice versa? Finally, Mapu lahual is an option trying to address economic development, indigenous demands, and conservation needs.

Indigenous parks
In Mapuche territory, the establishment of public and private protected areas is limited, due to the reluctance to establish new parks. However, there are some exampies that illuminate the possibility o expanding conservation prtijects in the region. The experts interviewed opined that it is possible for indigenous communities to conduct conservation projects. They stress that indigenous peoples understand nature better than the rest of society and therefore the abf>ve scenario is feasible, as long they have sufficient resources. Moreiwer, the I luilliche delegate believed that they are better suited to conduct conservation projects because of their commitment to developing their own communities, though he recognized that ntnal! indigenous cotnmunities have the same princtples:

)(jurnal of Latin American Geography

We indigent)us people have a playful and ancient relationship with the forest. (...) Our principle is to be respectful towards the environment and to have social commitment. Some interviewees refer to the need for including smaO proprietors, and to transform eonservadon as an alternative to development for the rural world, as a mean of reducing poverty."' The responses linked conservation and poverty reduction by rwo mechanisms: eco-tourism and sustainable forest management. Some interviewees mention the point of subsidies by stating that small landowners, rural communities, and indigenous communities need them most. Nonetheless, some responses show reservations about the feasibility of implementing conservation projects by small farmers, because of their urgent economic needs, and particularly in indigenous territories already involved in conflicts. I or indigenous peoples, private reserves are a source of income and their (wnership is a way to validate their legitimacy over the land. However, indigenous land does not mean communal land necessarily. Most indigenous territories are private properties owned by an indigenous person. In fact, the land-back program implemented hy the government transfers land to both individuals and communities. Forestry companies are the major landowners and potential private park creators. An NGO representative referring to their work in the Araucania region declared to prefer the biggest landowners because "the biggest areas imply the largest protected areas." By using this criterion indit;enous landowners are at a clear disadvantage. It is very utilikely that indigenous communities will create relevant PPA because they i3wn relatively small pieces of land with low ecological value. Therefore, it is improbable that the indigenous communities will take a leading role in conservation projects if they are not granted land and the necessary resources to develop. The interviewee from 'Parques para Chile' adds an ideological consideration, stating that: "A lot of private landowners think of conservation in an exclusionary way; it means that only rich people do conservation." In I')>(), the WWF' adopted specific policy regarding indigenous groups. The declaration acknowledges the rights of indigenous peopie to own, develop, contrf>!, and use the land and territories. Other international organizations had also adopted spt-eifie policies for their engagement with indigenous communities. More and mtire, (Conservation NGOs play an important role in rural development, (hooper (2005) suggests that these organizations should be the ones who take on the task of transferring rights of use to indigenous communities. Mapuche communities want to create conservation projects. Mapuche groups seek to strengthen their legitimacy to access the forest and to occupy land through discourse about authenticity, and by stressing their ancient relationship with nature. Mapuches, particulariy the Huiliiehes, have included ecological concepts in their arguments, to gain legitiniacv on nature governance. They declare themselves to be the ancient forest inhabitants, and insist upon their autonomy from the (Chilean state, by extension demanditig control over land and resources in their territory. Indigenous parks (t>n indigenous land own collectively by a communin' or by indigenous people privately) offer affinity- between conservation interests and indigenous interests. The PPAs, however, would necessarily reduce the control of indigenous groups over their natural resources, if they are designed using eeologieal criteria. In benefltdng both nature ctinservation and indigenous rights something must be given by both the indigenous groups and the conservation groups. This idea requires incentives for cultural promotion and environmental protection. In this scenario, indigenous autonomy wotUd neeessary fit in with conservation prerogatives. It may be to the benefit of indigenous

Privaie Protected Areas in Chile


groups to agree lo use restrictions in favor of nature conservation, in order lo assert rights lo iheir traditional land.

The ongoing confiici over indigenous territories creates ihree problems. I'irst, it promotes a lack of public and private interest in protecting such areas. Second, competition for land between conservation projects and indigenous claims is exacerbated. Third, conservation is being used politically, limiting discussion about alternatives. Nature conservation is used in t^hile as a political tool to gain territorial control, both by big landowners and indigenous groups. Despite the debate, conservation in the Araucam'a region m;untains its status quo. International conservation NGOs and philanthropists are new actors expanding their actions in indigenous lands. It is necessary not only to recognize the legitimacy of indigenous communities to create their conservation projects, but aiso to promote their involvement in extending nature conservation and diminishing conflicts. Forestry companies, NGC )s. ami the ('hilean state should acknowledge the legitimacy of these communities to be part of nature governance, looking for ways of sustainable use of the resources. There is a need to respects indigenous rights, while at the same time increasing conservation in the Araucam'a region. Therefore, it is necessary to create a category of private protected areas specific to indigenous lands. A designation ot "Indigenous Park" shouid include the study of the legal aspects of such designation due to the legal nature of indigenous lands. However, the designation is not useful by itself it it is not closely related to mechanisms that guarantee the long-term sustainabiiit\' of such projects. International conservation NCOs have an important role to play regarding the indigenous issue, in Chile and beyond.

' The recommendations ot the "Commission for Truth and New Treatment'" (200.'^) to recognize indigenous people in the (constitution and mandate indigenous representation in the Congress and local governing bt)dies, however, was not approved by the Congress. ~ In August 20(6, the government compromised to reduce bureaucracy and to give flexibility to small landowners to obtain benetits from the Native Forest Law, one of the demands presented by the coalition of NGOs called "Native Ftrest Network" (F.l M.!trador, August 2005). ' In 2003, the campaign was executed in the USA targeting the consumers. The famous writer Isabel Allende participated appearing in The New York Times ana saying: "Don't buy wood coming from Chile. It is destroying the native forests." *' The Chilean Biodiversity Strategy (CONAMA 2003) acknowledges the importance of conservation as means to overcome poveriy. "... It plays a decisive role in the country's development and is a fundamental element in the eradication of poverty." References
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