Socio-Ecological Studies in Urban and Rural Ecosystems in Chile

  • Olga BarbosaEmail author
  • Paula Villagra
Part of the Ecology and Ethics book series (ECET, volume 2)


To embrace a global “Earth Stewardship”, researchers associated with the Chilean Long Term Socio-Ecological Research (LTSER-Chile) network, highlighted the urgent need to integrate the variety of ecosystems and cultures, and overcome the bias of information centered in Northern Hemisphere. However this initiative doesn’t include the Chilean territory under strongest anthropogenic influence, and where most of the population lives and relies economically: agricultural lands and cities. Here we present two innovative projects contributing to the international Earth Stewardship Initiative: urban planning in the city of Valdivia, and the development of sustainable winery in Mediterranean Chile. Urban concentration amplifies strong social inequities that not only impact individual’s economic opportunities, but also the environmental quality of the surrounding landscapes and the ecosystem services they provide. In Chile, a highly urbanized country and prone to natural disasters, access to ecosystem services, provided for example by wetlands and urban forest remnants are essential to mitigate the effects of such catastrophes. Similarly, a conservation initiative with the wine industry was recently developed to preserve the threatened Mediterranean ecosystem, and improve vineyard management practices to minimize impact on native biodiversity and ecosystem services that sustain the wine industry and local communities. For both study cases a complementary approach through capacity building activities with the local community (bottom-up) coupled with building relationships with government institutions and corporations (top-down), have increased the effectiveness of the decision making process, highlighting that an holistic approach to Earth Stewardship should consider a variety of values, and undertake a socio-ecological approach.


Capacity building Conservation in farmlands Earth stewardship Mediterranean ecosystem Social inequity Sustainable urban planning 



This work was funded by CONICYT PFB-23, Millennium Scientific Initiative grant# PO5-002 through IEB-Chile, FONDAP grant# 1510020, and FONDECYT#11110183 to OB and # 11110297 to PV. We are very grateful to K. Godoy, C. García, K. Gomez, N. Pohl, J. Diaz and M. Marquez for their contribution to this chapter.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Instituto de Ciencias Ambientales y Evolutivas, Universidad Austral de ChileValdiviaChile
  2. 2.Institute of Ecology and BiodiversitySantiagoChile
  3. 3.Centro de Desarrollo Urbano Sustentable (CEDEUS)ValdiviaChile

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