The Chilean government announced the creation of a national park in the southern area of the Atacama desert, the driest in the world, to protect the flowering phenomenon that occurs exceptionally in this area of the Copiapó region, 500 km north of Santiago .
“We have a debt with the protection of the Florid Desert, but in particular with the protection of the Atacama. We commit ourselves as a government to start the process of creating the Florido Desert National Park,” said President Gabriel Boric during a visit to the place at the end of week. The park will have the highest existing environmental protection standards in Chile, the president added.
The announcement is expected to be formalized in the first quarter of 2023, they said from the government.
In the Atacama desert, every few years an impressive natural phenomenon occurs: the flowering of dozens of species that create a colorful blanket in an area where the conditions for vegetation are extreme.
“In this place, more than 200 species of plants bloom every three or five or 10 years, depending on the climatic conditions, which in turn allow the arrival of insects and fauna in search of food. It is imperative to protect this place with decision,” explained the Minister of National Assets, Javiera Toro. The exact area over which the national park will govern has not yet been determined, but it has been established that it will comprise between the south of the city of Copiapó and the north of the town of Vallenar.
According to experts, climate change is contributing to the “flowering desert,” as Chileans call it, an increasingly frequent phenomenon. In previous years, diversities of huillis (from white to liliaceous), añañucas (pink-white, yellow and red), nolanas (white, light blue and blue), cristarias (pale lilac), malvillas (white, pink and purple ) and Solanaceae.