Planning of environmental reference center in Chile

Project description

Chile is one of the most vital and competitive economies of Latin America. The country attracts foreign investors in multiple sectors of natural resources (e.g. mining, energy).

The need to develop the reliability of measurement data has been widely acknowledged both in the field of administration and business. According to a national assessment,the quality control of environmental measurements has not been sufficiently comprehensive, which has weakened confidence in environmental information. It has been estimated that the distrust in environmental measurements causes significant economic losses to Chile. Consequently, by having an internationally acknowledged reference laboratory, the reliability of measurements in assessing the environmental impacts of production could be enhanced.

During the project, Finnish (SYKE, FMI and VTT) and Chilean experts prepared a plan for the establishment of an environmental reference center in Chile. The objective was that the designed reference center, fulfilling international quality criteria, will cover chemical and ecotoxicological measurements, air quality as air emissions measurements.

 Public event in Eurochile in March 2017© Eurochile

As a result of the assignment, a comprehensive plan for establishing an integrated environmental reference center was created. This laid the basis for starting operations either as an independent institute or as a network. The design of reference center consisted of evaluating Chile’s laboratory and measurement capabilities, identification international good practices, and based on these, drafting a roadmap, which considered both the enhancement of technical as well as the capacities of the personnel of the reference center. The commission included also the concrete planning of the reference center with the help of organizational and business models. In addition, the plan described some well proven operation models and technical capacities of international reference laboratories.

The start-up of the environmental reference center was planned to be carried out in phases. In the first phase,  the focus would be on creating a reference laboratory for air emission measurements as this would not only improve the quality of air emission measurements but also the development of new measurement methods, required by the law. The development of other sectors would ensue that in the following years.

With an active environmental reference center in place, Chile aims at concretely improving the quality of its environmental measurements in several sectors and speeding up the processing of environmental permits and this way also accelerating the investments in the industry.

Finnish experts visited ANAM laboratory in Santiago. ANAM is analyzing various environmental samples. © Riitta Koivikko, SYKE.
Published 2020-01-07 at 10:10, updated 2020-10-22 at 13:18

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