Social-environmental conflicts in chile: Is there any potential for an ecological constitution?

Maite Berasaluce, Pablo Díaz-Siefer, Paulina Rodríguez-Díaz, Marcelo Mena-Carrasco, José Tomás Ibarra, Juan L. Celis-Diez, Pedro Mondaca

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Social unrest is on the rise worldwide amid deepening inequalities, environmental degradation, and job crises worsened by increasing social-environmental conflicts. In Chile, a social revolt in 2019 resulted in a national referendum in 2020. An ample majority (78.3% vs. 21.7%) voted to draft a new constitution to replace the current constitution drawn up under dictatorship. The result led to the emergence and empowerment of several organizations demanding an “ecological constitution”. In this context, we aim to analyze: (1) the main social-environmental conflicts in Chile and how they are related to the country’s current constitution, and (2) the potential drafting of an ecological constitution that addresses these conflicts. Across different industries in Chile, we observed common problems that are intrinsically related to the current constitution. This relationship seems to be perceived by Chilean citizens since a survey carried out in May 2021 found 79% support for an ecological constitution. Moreover, 105 of the 155 delegates to the constitutional convention proposed three or more environmental principles to be included in the new constitution. A potential ecological constitution entails principles that would improve the current situation of social-environmental conflicts in Chile. Based on our analysis, we recommend the establishment of watershed-based “territorial rights” in the new Chilean constitution to improve sustainability and environmental justice.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12701
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Volume13
Issue number22
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Environmental constitution
  • Environmental justice
  • Indigenous
  • Land
  • Pollution
  • Social turmoil
  • Socio-environmental
  • Sustainability
  • Territorial rights
  • Water

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