CAF promotes Patagonia as an ecosystem of solutions to climate change

December 07, 2023

Patagonia is a unique ecosystem and plays an essential role in global balance: it is home to the largest fjord ecosystem on the planet, with around 84,000 km of coastline, that is, more than 6 times the diameter of the Earth.

CAF promotes Patagonia as an ecosystem of solutions to climate change

CAF - development bank of Latin America and the Caribbean - will begin to work comprehensively in Patagonia, with the aim of enhancing its strategic ecosystems and turning them into a global reference for solutions to climate change.

As shown in the Latin American and Caribbean pavilion at COP28, this approach is in line with the institution's objective of being the green bank of the region, and aims to promote the conservation and sustainable use of the natural wealth of the region. Patagonia, empower local communities and reflect their potential to provide global environmental solutions.

Among the projects that CAF will carry out is a complete collection of information on kelp forests and their associated biodiversity, through underwater transects and photographic and video recording of these forests, covering the entire fjord ecosystem of Chilean Patagonia. . With this research, it will be possible to identify the areas with the greatest biodiversity and determine the level of resilience and vulnerability to environmental and anthropic changes of the species that inhabit these majestic forests at the end of the world. The results of this project will provide key information for the conservation, sustainable management and protection of this vast ecosystem, precisely determining priority conservation areas (marine protected areas).

Only in Chilean Patagonia are the most extensive underwater forests of brown algae on the planet, the kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera). This algae is the largest marine plant on Earth, growing to a length of more than 30 meters in just over a year, forming one of the most diverse and productive habitats on the planet, key to the development of various fishing resources. . In addition, it has been documented that kelp forests in Chilean Patagonia can store up to 20 times more carbon per hectare than forests on land, making them crucial for mitigating the impacts of climate change. Despite their rich biodiversity, there is little information on the biodiversity associated with these underwater forests, which offer a natural laboratory to study ecosystems in a more pristine state.