VICTORY: Chile Drops Reservation to CITES Trade Ban on Endangered Trees

The rainforest movement and have registered another major victory, as the government of Chile has decided to safeguard from logging the endangered and ecologically special alerce tree – withdrawing reservations for CITES Appendix 1 listing. The alerce, Fitzroya cupressoides, is unique to the coastal temperate rainforests of southern Chile and the mountains of western Argentina – only 15 percent of the habitat remains. The slow growing species can live for thousands of years, and the trees are a national monument in Chile. Local Chilean activists tirelessly exposed major illegal logging of this species, and asked their government for additional protections for the species.

In September of 2004,'s network (including YOU) requested that the Chilean government immediately end the extraction and commercialization of the ALERCE. ( ). And this is what has been achieved. It is very much hoped that the government's withdrawal of reservations for CITES Appendix 1 listing for the alerce is a first step in major protections for Chile's Valdivian rainforest – the alerce's primary remaining habitat. The Valdivian rainforest is one of only five remaining temperate rainforests in the world and the only one in South America.
According to local activists,'s massive email protest network was substantially responsible for successfully stopping a road through the Valdivian rainforest a few years ago. This current victory again demonstrates that's network is alive, well and growing in effectiveness – despite having enlarged our focus as EcoInternet (EI) to other ecological sustainability issues. As a project of EI, remains well connected with local forest conservation movements throughout the world, and together the world's largest little forest conservation network is being heeded by government's worldwide.
The era when ancient forests and their species are devastated with impunity is drawing to an end. Thank you for your participation – onward and forward to global forest conservation and ecological restoration!

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2 Responses

  1. craig hart says:

    It is pleasing to hear of Chile's decision to drop opposition of the endangered declaration of the Alerca tree. I have seen pictures of them, and they are venerable. I have also seen pictures of some of the eucalyptus trees in the Styx valley in Tasmania, and it reminds me that those trees too are threatened and in need of global consideration. The valdavian forests of Chile and the forests of Tasmania are both in many ways remnants of the Gondwanaland continental biodivesity than existed uninterupted until the break up of the continent 50 million(?) years ago. Most of the Gondwana remnant areas are under threat, but it's nice to see that some of it in Chile has been preserved and that the Chilean government for now respects the natural imperilledness of one of it's icon tree species, the Alerca.

  2. Toni Broncoli says:

    I attended many CITES conferences. I now how the process. The credit of this victory remains in hands of Chilean environmental attorney Miguel Fredes who submitted a complete investigation to the US Fish and Wildlife Service about the unlawful use of the CITES reservation by traders. The US Government reported to CITES Secretariat and then with some pressure the Government of Chile decided to drop its longstanding reservation. Of course, worked helped to raise attention on the perverse and manipulative use of this reservation.Keep the good work.

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