British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium

Planning and implementation initiatives for an afforestation project in an arid environment, northern Chile Mchaina, David Mhina; Serra, G. Roman


This paper describes a community forest project located in the township of Calama, Region II, Northern Chile. The project was initiated in 1996 with a goal to create a 100 hectares of self-sustaining forested ecosystem for a valued oasis in the Atacama Desert. The objectives of the project are: to create a selfsustaining ecosystem with minimal maintenance using native plant species that are drought resistant and to undertake initiatives that will speed up natural successional changes. To meet the above objectives, a local drought-resistant species known as 'algarrobo' (Prosopis chilensis) was selected for the project. The afforestation program includes key elements such as seed preparation; sowing of seeds in greenhouse containers and maintenance; land preparation; transplanting the individual seedlings into the field; and on-going field maintenance and monitoring.

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