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German Weber

Research "Protection Mechanisms for the Rivers of Chile"

Research "Protection Mechanisms for the Rivers of Chile"


In 2016, our Founder began research on the protection of free rivers, while developing her Master of Laws at the University of Melbourne, Australia. With the founding of Ngenko in 2020, the team resumed research, which today is an important part of our activities. In this context, we have been developing different lines of work that include:


  1. Critical review of the tools that exist in the current legislation to protect the rivers of Chile. With the objective of determining the barriers and opportunities that exist to advance towards a permanent protection of Chilean rivers.

  2. Survey on citizen perception. In November 2020, we launched an online survey on what is understood by a free river, the connection of citizens with their rivers and the need to protect them, the possible advantages or disadvantages of establishing protection mechanisms, among other questions.  The survey was answered by 1,612 people throughout Chile and allowed us to better understand the interests and needs of the population in this line.

  3. Expert Interviews. Since November 2020 we have been developing semi-structured interviews with different experts in the water and environment sector, which include academia, civil society, indigenous communities, companies, among others. With the objective of capturing their opinions on the barriers and opportunity to advance towards a river protection mechanism in Chile.

  4. Comparative law study, which includes the protection mechanism of free rivers in the United States, Canada and Australia. In order to obtain lessons and learnings from these processes.  

  5. Citizen workshops on the research we are developing. In order to publicize progress and results; being able to capture the opinions and perceptions of the different participants; and position the urgent need to protect and restore the rivers of Chile. (If you are interested in the workshop, contact us)


As a Foundation we understand the relevance of the link with the community and the need for protection instruments to emerge from the territory, and then move towards a legislative proposal that involves all the necessary actors to make it possible. It is along these lines that in the second phase of the investigation, case studies will be carried out on four rivers that we believe should be the starting point for an eventual protection mechanism. (Pay attention to our social networks for more information)

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