CRITERION 1 CONSERVATION OF BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY INDICATOR 1.1.a AREA BY FOREST TYPE IN RELATION TO TOTAL FOREST AREA
The native forest cadastre performed between 1994 and 1997 enabled the country to determine the area covered by forest • The existing forest type were also determined by means of this tool • In the determination of forest types, the legal definition (Supreme Decree Nº259, 1980) was used • This cadastre is updated every five years on the average and is performed by means of land-use maps methology
RATIO BETWEEN AREA OF FOREST AND TOTAL AREA OF THE COUNTRY (%) % Country area: 75.640.000 hectares
THE FOLLOWING TABLE AND GRAPHS SHOW THE AREAS BY FOREST TYPE FOR THE COUNTRY
AREA AND PERCENTAGE OF CHILE’S TOTAL AREA BY FOREST TYPE 26.% Thousands of hectares 21.8% 13.6% 11.5% 9.4 % 6.3% 3.6 % 1.7% 1.7% 2.2% 1.2% 0.3 %
THE DISTRIBUTION BY TREE CLASSIFICATION IS THE FOLLOWING Thousands of hectares Tree Classification
TRENDS • The updating of this cadastre makes it possible to observe current trends in areas by forest type in some regions. To date this figure is available for three of Chile’s administrative regions • It is not yet possible to obtain this information at national level inasmuch as the updating of the cadastre is to be completed in the year 2005 • Presented as an example is the situation undergone by the forest between 1994, when the land-use cadastre was performed, and 1999, the year which changes in land use were monitored
It should be noted that both surveys were conducted using the same methodology • The survey, or example, was conducted in region VII, which has a total area of 3,035,605 hectares and contains 5% of Chile’s forests.
THE TABLE SHOWS THE AREA BY FOREST TYPE IN 1994 AND 1999 AS WELL AS THE LOSSES OF NATIVE FOREST AREA OVER PERIOD IN THE SEVENTH REGION
Losses of native forest area by forest type and increase in area of plantation, with percentage of loss or gain with respect to situation as at 1994 Changes in area 1994-1999 by forest type, Region VII 22% Hectares -2.1% -2.3% -9.6% -3.5%
CHANGES IN AREA 1994-1999 BY TREE CLASSIFICATION, PERCENTAGE LOSSES IN NATIVE FOREST AREA AND PERCENTAGE GAINS WITH RESPECT TO INITIAL AREA 22% HECTARES -3% 4%
INTERPRETATION With the data analysed for region VII, the followings trends are observed: • There is a positive increase in the area of forests in the form of tree plantations, 76% of which have been established on terrains previously occupied by grasslands and scrub (of lesser productive value) • There is a decrease in the area of native forest amounting to almost 3% of the area occupied by native forest in 1994
The forest types most affected, in decreasing order, are: sclerophyllous, roble-hualo, and roble-raulí-coigue. The situation is cause for concern owing to the fact that, on the one hand, this region is the southernmost limit of the national distribution of the sclerophyllous forest and, on the other, the roble-hualo type is almost exclusive to region VII • Around 76% of the native forest area that was lost during the period was subsequently replaced with tree plantations and represents an average annual figure of 1,758 hectares.
This marks a positive trend with regard to this matter inasmuch as during the 1990-1994 period the average annual rate of loss of native forest area and its replacement with plantations was 1,970 hectares • Furthermore, 611 hectares were incorporated into the area covered by native forests • The forest structures most affected were open secondary-growth forests and dense secondary-growth forests