Recognized as an area of great relevance, both cultural and biodiversity, the waters around Isla Guafo seek to be protected through the declaration of a Marine Coastal Space of Native Peoples (ECMPO). The application, recently declared admissible by Subpesca, was entered by a group of eleven Mapuche-Williches communities grouped under the «Wafo Wapi, ancestral territory for conservation» initiative. These have presented the background to the customary uses of this space, as well as the urgent need to protect it from various threats, such as potential mining projects, unsustainable real estate development, pollution by waste and over-exploitation of marine resources.» We have a tool as indigenous peoples and we saw that it is necessary to use it to protect this space that houses a lot of biodiversity, because it is an island that, given its remoteness, its climatic and geographical conditions, has remained intact in the Time. In addition, spiritually for us it is very valuable, our spirituality is based on the integrity of the territory, that the itrofill mongen, which is biodiversity, has not been altered,» notes the Lonko of Yaldad, Cristian Chiguay, spokesman of the Wafo initiative Wapi.Environmental and tradition protectionThe initiative is supported by the artisanal fishermen’s unions of the commune of Quellón, with whom it established a strategic alliance to achieve the declaration of this ECMPO.» This is a protection that we have to concrete, first of all to take care of the environment and fauna and obviously one of the great fights that we have always given is that it does not install some coal or mining company that will spoil us all nature and basic you also the environment where we work resources such as hedgehog, luga and others very important for the development of artisanal fishing», explains Marco Salas, president of the Artisan Fishermen’s Union of Quellón.Al support of fishermen also adds that of WWF Chile, which sees in this ECMPO a pioneering case regarding the contribution that the Lafkenche Law can make for the conservation of nature.» Guafo is a strategic point for marine conservation in southern Chile, as it is the gateway of blue whales to the chiloé inland sea to feed alongside their young. In addition, it houses the world’s largest black fardela nesting site, as well as a wide variety of marine species with protection needs,» says Yacqueline Montecinos, head of Marine Biodiversity at WWF Chile.» The country has a unique opportunity to establish an effective mechanism that safeguards this unique wealth and can ensure the sustainability of the traditional activities and lifestyles that coastal, local, peasant and indigenous communities carry out in territory,» he adds. Among the next steps for this ECMPO application is Conadi’s accreditation of customary use and consultations; (Regional Coastal Border Commission) (CRUB), Maritime Destination (Ministry of Defence) and finally the revision of the Management Plan.