Special Report
Peace Boat Offers Support for Chile's Worst Wildfires, Mar 18, 2017
A large-scale wildfire engulfed the Chilean port city of Valparaiso which overlooks the Pacific Ocean on January 2, 2017, immediately after welcoming in the New Year. Soon after, 118 different locations throughout Chile, including the capital, Santiago, were ravaged by wildfires. According to local news reports, as of February 2017 11 people had died, more than 6000 residents had been affected, and 1551 homes had been destroyed by the wildfires. As of March 2017, the fires spanned an area of 600,000 hectares, and over 7,400 people had been evacuated, prompting local experts to call this the worst catastrophe to affect to the country's biodiversity in the last 100 years.

In response to this emergency, Peace Boat Disaster Relief Volunteer Center (PBV) worked with local counterpart organizations in Chile, to send 10,000 emergency food rations donated by the Foundation of Japan Motor Boat Racing Association, to those affected by the wildfires. Furthermore, participants onboard Peace Boat's 93rd Global Voyage, which docked in Valparaiso on February 12, 2017, also raised a total of USD 4000. Half of these funds were donated to Corporación Ciudadana Red Nacional de Emergencia (RNE) which assisted with the distribution of emergency food rations to affected individuals across Chile. The remaining USD 2000 were donated to CODEFF, a Chilean environmental organization which contributed to the rescue, care and recovery of the wild fauna affected by the wildfires. CODEFF also used the funds to determine the Priority Biodiversity Conservation Sites and Important Areas for Bird Conservation and Biodiversity that were affected by the wildfires, and draw up plans for their restoration in the short, medium and long term.