Legal protection assessment of different inland wetlands in Chile
BACKGROUND: Inland wetlands are well represented ecosystems in Chile that are subjected to various pressures affecting conservation. Protection means legal and administrative initiatives which promote the protection and/or preservation of a wetland, either in its entirety, considering their areas of influence or its components. RESULTS: The aim of this work is to develop a methodology for estimating the value of protection of different types of inland wetlands in Chile. For this purpose: a) the Chilean regulations in relation to the issues of biodiversity, wetlands and water resources were compiled; (b) such legislation and its application were analyzed, (c) protection and restriction values of each legal standard was estimated, and then total protection value of standards applied to six types of wetlands in study. 47 legal rules related to protection of inland wetlands and eight directly or indirectly affecting conservation and wise use of wetlands were identified. CONCLUSIONS: In Chile there is no specific statutory rules or regulations on wetlands. Current legal standards do not protect equally the different types of inland wetlands, being swamp forests, peatlands and brackish Andean lakes less protected. To improve wetlands conservation, incentives promoting wetlands destruction must be eliminated and promulgate specific regulations for proper management and conservation.