Inauguration of the first Seabird Rescue Center along Tarapacá Coastline

Inauguration of the first Seabird Rescue Center along Tarapacá Coastline


A joint initiative of Compañía Minera Cordillera and SQM, the center was implemented by the Wayanay Foundation and aims to protect and shelter seabirds, facilitating their rescue and subsequent release.

Nearly 100 people, including regional authorities, representatives of civic organizations from coastal communities and employees from Cordillera, SQM and Wayanay participated in the inauguration ceremony for the Seabird Rescue Center, a 75m2 facility that will be dedicated to conserving and conducting researching on local avifauna and is located inside the Patache Maritime Terminal.

This innovative project, developed collaboratively by Compañía Minera Cordillera, SQM and the Wayanay Foundation, is a milestone in the protection of the regional ecosystem as the first rescue center located on the Tarapacá coastline. This important center will promote the protection of seabird biodiversity, sustainable development and environmental education, as well as the conservation of the region’s natural heritage.

“It is a great milestone for us as a company to inaugurate this space that is meaningful for our operations, environmental commitments and community engagement efforts. The center will allow us to collaborate in caring for local birds, taking charge of those we are able to rescue and working hard to protect the environment. We have engaged in dialogue, work programs and shared social value with the communities of this territory for many years. They see environmental protection as important for their development, which is why we are demonstrating today that we can join forces and carry out initiatives that are the foundation of our division’s sustainability strategy,” commented Pablo Pisani, Corporate Affairs Manager for SQM’s Nitrates and Iodine Division, during the ceremony.

The Seabird Rescue Center will be strategically located to support local avifauna. It was designed using a sustainable and environmentally friendly model, including repurposing recycled structures and relying on non-conventional renewable energy, ensuring a positive impact on the surrounding area.

According to the Regional Secretary of the Ministry of Mining Wladimir Astudillo: “This is a tremendously positive development for the region. As a government, we are committed to the environment, to the communities and to the flora and fauna. Therefore, we believe that it is an ethical and moral duty to watch over the preservation of species with special attention to protected species such as the black sea swallow.”

Half of the space will be reserved for the conservation of endangered species. The center will also be used for research activities, with spaces dedicated to recovery, administrative areas, meetings and training, as well as an outdoor area for educational and training activities.

Matthias Mohr, CEO of Compañía Minera Cordillera, said: “I want to express my sincere thanks to all those who have made this achievement possible at our company. We are committed to continue being leaders in environmental conservation practices and corporate social responsibility, and I want to emphasize that this bird rescue center is just the first step in our mission to protect and preserve wildlife for future generations in our region.”

In turn, Wayanay Foundation executives emphasized: “The main objective for creating this center is to rescue and release species, along with being a platform for integrating the community and the industry and generating a space for interaction between the foundation, the territory and its inhabitants to generate knowledge of the different species of seabirds that are present in the sector and also to carry out tasks like marking, measurement and statistical control.”

The inaugural event was attended by residents of the coastal area, who highlighted the private sector’s commitment to protecting the environment and the birds that are affected, mainly during their migration process.

Luis Cortés, president of the Chanavayita Cove Neighborhood Council, added, “Here we have biodiversity that is native to our sector and opening this center will allow us, perhaps, to expand it tomorrow and care for other species and animals in the area.”

For the first stage of implementation, the center already has the permits it needs to operate and a team of professionals working as of this week to protect and care for birds along the coast.