The San Ignacio del Huinay Foundation is a non-profit organization established in 2001 by its founding partners Enel Generation Chile (then Endesa Chile) and the Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, which seeks to understand the structures and dynamics of the ecosystems of Chilean Patagonia and their relationship with climate change, through scientific research projects. All this with the aim of making the knowledge generated available and for the benefit of society.
After 17 years of work, in 2018, the foundation approved a new strategy that seeks to transform it into a national and global leader in scientific research on Patagonian ecosystems, being a reference in studies of climate change, biodiversity and promoter of education, as well as to contribute to the design of conservation strategies for sustainable development in Chile and the region.
The foundation is located in 34,000 hectares of land in the Comau Fjord area, in the Los Lagos Region. The foundation carries out scientific research through a program that observes and seeks to understand the structures and dynamics of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems in Chilean Patagonia in this way it contributes to the understanding of the phenomena related to climate change.
The Huinay Foundation Research Center is the unique and privileged natural laboratory of northern Chilean Patagonia, given the characteristics where it is located, its scenic beauty, richness in both marine and terrestrial biodiversity make this place a benchmark of universal access for the development of education and science both nationally and internationally.
The purpose of the Foundation seeks to understand the biostructures arranged in Chilean Patagonia and understand their dynamics through the implementation of 2 programs, these are:
- Huinay Summer School Program, focused on theoretical / practical training, focused on scientific and technological training and in scientific dissemination in its various expressions
- Program for the Observation of Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecosystems (POETA), which corresponds to a monitoring program of the Essential Variables of Climate and Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecosystems of Patagonia.
As information management and knowledge transfer tools, the POETA plan considers the computer system developed by the PUCV called GEOOS, open source, which seeks to contribute to reducing asymmetry in timely access to information environment for decision-making, said computer system allows free and timely access to georeferenced information from the most important portals and providers of national and international scientific and technical data, from different areas (eg Industry, State, Academy)
With this, the San Ignacio del Huinay Foundation is positioned as a national and international benchmark in scientific research on the ecosystems of Chilean Patagonia; linked to the understanding of the conditions generated by climate change and at the same time promoting the educational experience in all its dimensions.
Currently the San Ignacio del Huinay Foundation and in collaboration with the Ministry of the Environment through its SEREMI (regional administrative branch of the ministry) in the Los Lagos Region, has been developing two relevant projects since May 2020, one of them is a “Situational Diagnosis of Coastal Marine Protected Areas ”, in order to design with open standards a strategic and comprehensive governance of the different actors that have a marine protected area under their responsibility. The second project is linked to the design of the Management Plan for the Multiple Use Coastal Marine Protected Area - Comau Fjord, both projects are expected to be completed during 2021.