About Us

  • Home > 
  • About Us


The Río Cruces Wetlands Center was created from an unprecedented institution in our country: a Social and Scientific Council (SSC). This SSC included a variety of stakeholders (govermental agencies, NGOs, an university and representatives from Arauco S.A.) involved on the Cruces river ecological disaster of 2004 and was formed to clarify the guidelines for compliance of the measures for the restoration of the Cruces river wetland as ruled by the First Civil Court of Valdivia, on July 27, 2013, in the case brought by the State of Chile against Arauco S.A. This wetland includes a Ramsar Nature and Scientific Research Sanctuary site and its tributary rivers.

For more information please visit the SCC website at

Legal framework

According to the agreement of the SSC, the Río Cruces Wetland Research Center was set up under the umbrella of Universidad Austral de Chile, in accordance with the agreement for its implementation signed between Arauco S.A and such university.


See agreement and regulatory framework


To be a reference institution capable of contributing significantly to the restoration and conservation of the Cruces River Wetland, through research, environmental management and education.


To be a global reference center, capable of contributing to the prevention environmental degradation due to anthropogenic pressures and anticipating the effects of natural hazards, which may affect the sustainability of the Río Cruces Wetland.


1. To understand the structure and spatio-temporal dynamics of the Cruces river wetland in order to assess its current status and threats.

2. To conduct management-oriented research, with emphasis on direct control of threats to the wetland.

3.To develop an epistemic pluriversity for the sustainability of wetlands, articulating the results of scientific research with knowledge of institutional experts and with local knowledge.

4. To contribute to the recovery of socio-economic functions and processes of the Cruces river wetland, proposing pertinent strategies and instruments for their restoration, management and conservation that strengthen its resilience and that of other wetlands.

5. To promote attitudinal and behavioral changes, both in the neighboring communities of the Cruces river wetland and in society in general, that contribute to the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands, through communication programs, environmental education, awareness raising and participation.

6. To develop a model of governance and participatory management that could become a benchmark for institutions of nature conservation.

Boundaries of the Wetland

Chamber functioning

The chambers are the main platform for community participation on the Wetland Center. They include people and organizations that have relationships with the wetland, either on the scientific, social or economic scope. The members of the chambers have expressed their interest on contributing to the sustainable development of the wetland, according to the values and premises of the Wetland Center.


This chamber gathers scientists and professionals that contribute with technical and scientific information about Río Cruces and other wetlands. Its main purpose is informing the Board of Directors with proposals about research needs, management policies, and potential priorities for monitoring programs, as well as any advice to increase scientific knowledge about the wetland. This chamber currently has 75 members

See functioning regulations


The members of this chamber identify as inhabitants of places in close proximity to or that are frequent users of Río Cruces or other wetlands. Its main focus is to provide ideas and suggestions on how to manage the Center to properly incorporate social development of communities around Rio Cruces as well as other urban and periurban wetlands. This chamber currently has 59 members.

See functioning regulations


This chamber includes persons and institutions that have businesses on Río Cruces or other wetlands. The members of this chamber provide advice and suggestions on how to develop economic activities from a sustainable perspective. This chamber currently has 29 members.

See functioning regulations