News Column

Chilean town wants UNESCO to add fossil park to global network

September 2, 2014

Santiago, Sep 2 (EFE).- PuchuncavÍ, a town on the coast of Chile's Valparaiso region, wants UNESCO to acknowledge and add to its Global Geoparks Network some fossils 300 million years old that were discovered nearby.

Acceptance could convert the town into the richest among the geosites in Chile to form part of UNESCO's network, Puchuncavi Natural History Museum director Veronica Andrade told Efe.

The existence of fossilized mollusks dating back to the Carboniferous period of the Paleozoic era was unveiled on Aug. 27 in Puchuncavi, located at 140 kilometers (87 miles) northwest of Santiago, though the discovery and verification had taken place previously, Andrade said.

Museum officials were first notified about the find by Alejandra Ordenes, a resident of the San Antonio district of Puchuncavi municipality, who told them about fossils in an old quarry in the area, formerly used to extract materials for road repairs.

Once at the site some 10 kilometers (6 miles) from the Pacific coast, the experts "realized the potential of the find," the museum director said.

The fossil remains from the Carboniferos period of the Paleozoic era were from a time when America was a different continent called Gondwana, in which Venezuela, Peru, Bolivia, northern Chile and Argentina formed a marine platform.

"It is the marine sequence of the Carboniferous period farther to the south that has been found in Chile," Andrade said, adding that "we plan to nominate this area for UNESCO's Global Geoparks Network because of its riches."

UNESCO's Global Geoparks Network has promoted since 1999 the preservation and sustainable development of areas rich in this kind of natural treasures, and in which the international organization allows the development of sustainable tourism. EFE


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Source: EFE Ingles

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