Latin American Geotourism Day: understanding the Earth

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Cajon del Maipo. Photo: Paulo UrrutiaCajon del Maipo. Photo: Paulo Urrutia

 

By Paulo Urrutia

Many probably think geology is completely foreign to their lives. But the truth is that virtually every element in our daily lives has something to do with this fascinating discipline. From the elements that make up the apparatus with which you read this very article, to the journey that makes the water before becoming your next beer, they depend on the geological conditions existing in the place from which they come. Fortunately, Earth's sciences are here to stay. To help celebate Latin American Geotourism Day, we want to tell you everything you need to know about a world seemingly straight out of the travel chronicles of the French writer Jules Verne.

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Institutional frameworks for the rights of nature

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Whanganui River, New Zealand. Photo: Flickr/Tim Proffitt-WhiteWhanganui River, New Zealand. Photo: Flickr/Tim Proffitt-White
 

By Pía Weber

As the article "Should Nature Have Rights?" by Paulo Urrutia and Patrick Lynch shows, the movement advocating that nature has rights has established a new way of protecting the environment, especially rivers. This new conception evolves from an anthropocentrist perspective that asks what can we get from a river, to one that recognizes and gives importance to different actors and instead asks: what does the river need? How do we work together with the river? Thus, in certain countries rivers have been declared as subjects of rights, which is directly linked to the worldview of indigenous peoples where these declarations have been carried out. It is interesting to note that, in addition to establishing the river as a living entity and subject to rights, an entire institutionality has been created from this declaration, specifically for the Whanganui River in New Zealand and the Atrato River in Colombia.

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Should nature have rights?

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By Paulo Urrutia and Patrick Lynch
Editor's note: The following is from Issue 23.

Recently, we started out on a kayaking trip along the Biobío River, from its headwaters at Laguna Galletué to the Ralco dam reservoir. For several days we paddled its turbulent waters among hilly plateaus surrounded by araucaria trees. Coihue and native oak trees covered the landscape. Countless torrent ducks and birds such as cormorants and kingfishers dancing again and again in front of our eyes. But this celebration of life rapidly came to a halt after a brutal encounter with the man-made Lake Ralco. The abrupt disappearance of the birds and the smell of decomposing organic matter on the banks of this artificial lake left us silent, our souls in the air: we had witnessed the consequences of mutilating a river.

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Job opportunity: Deputy editor

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Patagon Journal is a bilingual magazine whose mission: to build a greater appreciation, understanding and environmental protection of Patagonia and the world’s last wild places.

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Jaguars re-inhabit Argentina’s Ibera wetlands after a 70-year absence

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 Mariua and cubs in Iberá. Photo: Tompkins ConservationMariua and cubs in Iberá. Photo: Tompkins Conservation

 
By Caterinna del Rio Giovannini
 
Two years after the creation of Gran Iberá Park, located in northern Argentina on the border with Paraguay, Mariua, an adult female jaguar (Panthera onca) and her two cubs, Karai and Porá, only 4-months-old, became the first of their species to set foot in Corrientes province after nearly 70 years of absence.
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