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Ministry of the Environment - Law No. 21.660 on the Environmental Protection of Peatlands

On April 10, 2024, Law No. 21.660 on the Environmental Protection of Peatlands (“Law”) was published in the Official Gazette, with the aim of preserving and conserving them as strategic reserves for climate change mitigation and adaptation; áter balance and regulation; biodiversity conservation; and the multiple ecosystem services they provide.

The main novelties of Law No. 21.660 are:

  • Prohibition: It is expressly established that the extraction of peat is prohibited throughout the national territory, from the publication of the Law in the Official Gazette.

Qualification Resolutions (RCA) authorizing the extraction or exploitation of peat or peatland vegetation will expire automatically upon the expiration of the declared lifespan in the project.

Existing harvesting plans will continue to have effects; however, their holders must comply with the requirements of sustainable management plans established in the Law.

  • Plan de manejo sustentable: El manejo sustentable de la cubierta vegetal de turberas de musgo Sphagnum magellanicum podrá ser autorizado por medio de un plan de manejo que asegure que no se modifique de manera permanente la estructura y funciones de la turbera. Así, el manejo sustentable efectuado de acuerdo al plan de manejo no constituirá alteración física de las turberas.

Los planes de manejo serán aprobados por el Servicio Agrícola y Ganadero (“SAG”), previo informe favorable del Servicio de Biodiversidad y Áreas Protegidas (“SBAP”), cuando el titular cumpla las condiciones establecidas.

  • Regulation: The Law orders the issuance, within a period of two years, of Regulations that regulate the criteria and practices allowing for the conservation, preservation, and restoration of peatlands.

Among other aspects, the Regulations must regulate the procedure for management plans and the means for intermediaries and exporters who package and/or distribute Sphagnum magellanicum moss to prove that its origin is associated with an approved management plan.

  1. Inspection and sanction: Non-compliance with the rules will be inspected and sanctioned by the SBAP, without prejudice to the powers exercised by the SAG.
  2. Search for substitute product: It is established that funds may be allocated for the search for a substitute for Sphagnum magellanicum moss as a plant product.

Should you require additional information on this matter, please contact Javier Naranjo (jnaranjo@jdf.cl), Martín Esser (messer@jdf.cl) or María Paz Valenzuela (mpvalenzuela@jdf.cl).

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