Thanks to the work of the IDEAL Center, Chile is part of the regional evaluations through the Ocean Health Index (OHI) indicator, which results will be in the last months of 2022.

The Ocean Health Index (OHI) is an evaluation instrument on the state of the sea, applied in more than 220 countries and territories. Evaluates ten objectives or goals on environmental, economic and social aspects, to diagnose and monitor the health of the ocean in a comprehensive and quantitative manner.

In the case of Chile, the evaluation will be made for southern Patagonia and each of its districts, being led by the Center for Dynamic Research of High Latitude Marine Ecosystems (IDEAL) of the Austral University of Chile (UACh). The work team, made up of eight people, is coordinated by Dr. Laura Nahuelhual, a researcher at the IDEAL Center and the Millennium Institute for Coastal Socio-Ecology (SECOS).

“The OHI is an index that transcends the environmental dimension of other ocean monitoring indicators. It includes key variables in the biological, physical, economic and social dimensions, which are constructed with the best available official data, and which are directly related to the health of the seas, considering human well-being as a main axis,” explained the researcher of the IDEAL Center.

The index makes it possible to answer several questions associated with marine planning at a community, regional or all of Patagonia scale.

Through the website you can find the list of evaluations that are being carried out worldwide, with information on the status of the evaluations, most of which are in charge of state agencies with the support of global NGOs and local.

“In the case of Chile, only this year we have started the evaluation for Patagonia, as an initiative that arises from our own interest as a research center. For now, we do not have the sponsorship of the environmental agencies of the State or NGOs, but we hope that this will change as the first results are disseminated,” commented the academic from the Austral University of Chile.

The index makes it possible to answer several questions associated with marine planning at a community, regional or all of Patagonia scale. Some of the questions, are: What is the current state of ocean health and why is it given a certain score? What are the main pressures and what effect do they have on the health of the sea in my commune? How certain driving scenarios can affect that score?

The evaluation of the index for the communes of Patagonia will allow, in short, to know the current state of ocean health at the community level, based on the current state, pressures and resilience of ten goals (and their respective indicators): artisanal fishing opportunities; biodiversity; carbon storage; clean waters; coastal protection; food supply; livelihoods and economies; natural products: sense of place; tourism and recreation.