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The Absence of Resilience After Recurrent Wildfires at Mediterranean Ecosystems in Central Chile. A Qualitative Study

Autores: Carolina Ojeda, Edilia Jaque, Sandra Fernández

Seventeenth International Conference on Environmental, Cultural, Economic & Social Sustainability, 02-2021, Amsterdam.

Mediterranean ecosystems have been constantly exposed to the pressures from anthropogenic factors: land cover change (e.g. from forest to urban), the replacement of the native vegetation to pinus/eucalyptus crops, and the impact of climate change noticed in drought and water scarcity. Through semi-structured interviews with key actors belonging to the rural communities of Quillón, Florida, and Yumbel in Chile (during 2018), inquiring about practices and attitudes before/after the megafire of 2017. The findings showed that the interviewees did not observe changes between the fires of 2011 to 2018, indicating that thorough work has not been done to include this perspective in the ecological and social restoration processes after wildfires. An important factor that could promote the resilient features is the government through programs and education, especially in rural communities, where the support of the government is more relevant due to the inherent difficulties of country living, and the lack of reliable information sources about natural/anthropic hazards. In the end, the support of the government is inexistent, in the words of the interviewees, wasting an opportunity to develop a resilient community to the anthropogenic/natural hazards.