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MARCH 16, 2021

Chilean Government announces Climate Change Observatory

The project, which is designed to transform Chile into a global climate change sensor, will be led by the Science Ministry in collaboration with the Foreign Affairs and the Environment Ministries. 

Following the meeting of the Antarctic Policy Council presided over by President Sebastián Piñera at La Moneda Palace, the Government announced the creation of the Climate Change Observatory (Observatorio de Cambio Climático, OCC). This is a unique initiative that will generate and use the world’s most valuable scientific evidence about this major phenomenon that affects us all.

Speaking about this initiative, President Piñera said “today, I would like to announce that under the guidance of the Science Ministry, the Chilean Antarctic Institute (INACH) and the Foreign Affairs Ministry, we have set up the Climate Change Observatory. It will allow us to observe, measure and forecast the evolution of the threat posed by climate change from Visviri in the far north all the way to the Union Glacier base in Chilean Antarctica. (...) Thus, just as astronomical observatories take advantage of Chile’s clear skies to be the world’s eyes in terms of exploring the universe, this climate change observatory will draw on Chile’s spectacular and unique geography and our permanent presence in the Antarctic to keep a watchful eye in order to fight climate change.”

So the Climate Change Observatory will integrate sensors installed throughout Chile and the data gathered by them through three main components: a platform, governance and a technical team led by the Science Ministry in collaboration with the Foreign Affairs and Environment Ministries; a new network of sensors at the Antarctic bases through a Chilean Antarctic Institute project; and an integrated network of sensors for earth observation.

The Science Minister, Andrés Couve, said “Chile is the starting point for a sustainable future. The international community and Chile’s scientific community have indicated that scientific observation and evidence are needed now more than ever in order to make informed climate decisions. This is why we are spearheading the Climate Change Observatory, which will make available climate data with interoperability standards. It will implement a network of sensors at the Antarctic bases and progress towards an integrated network of sensors and data thanks to private, public and academic institutions. We will therefore have information from the north right down to the Antarctic, such as  temperatures, rainfall, sea level, ice mass levels, solar radiation, wind speed and direction, among other pieces of information,” explained Science Minister Andrés Couve. 

“Climate change is the greatest challenge facing our generation and this observatory will provide Chile and the world with key data for addressing it. This is because the sensors installed throughout Chile will enable us to take advantage of its tremendous geographic diversity to provide comprehensive data generated in a participative manner from the different parts of the country,” explained Carolina Schmidt, Environment Minister, and President of COP25.

Five million people have been vaccinated in Chile

Together with President Piñera, members of the scientific community, the rectors of the Universidad de Chile and the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, the Science Minister highlighted the leading role that the scientific community has played in the vaccination strategy.

“Today we have reached the total of 5 million people vaccinated in Chile. This represents a joint effort in which many institutions and people have worked together to raise awareness about this health service. Science and technology have also been set to serve the health of the Chilean people. This good news carries with it the responsibility of continuing to take safety measures such as social distancing, avoiding large groups of people, continuing to use masks and frequent hand washing because we are now in a critical and demanding moment of the pandemic.