Lic. Roberto Recabal | Discussion Sustainable cities: Present and future of humanity
 Alcalde Roberto Recabal C.

Lic. Roberto Recabal | Discussion Sustainable cities: Present and future of humanity

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Roberto Recabal Cárcamo

Mayor of Ciudad Villa O'Higgins (Chile)

Good afternoon.

First of all I want to thank this great family for giving me the opportunity to be in this country so loving, so friendly, which is Guatemala; and also to tell all of you that I am very happy with the word CUMIPAZ, and that in me it causes great joy, and I hope that in each one of you as well.

I come from a country called Chile, which is more than 5000 kilometers long, from the hot north and desert to the southern tip, where we live and contemplate the beauty and grandeur of our great lakes, rivers, and ice fields; where the greatest and transcendent wealth of the future of this world is contained: the water, the pure and crystalline water of its rivers and lakes, and its tremendous and incommensurable Southern Ice Fields.

My commune, of which I am proudly its mayor, is the second most isolated in the country, with an area of ​​8182 square kilometers and only 650 inhabitants. Here we contemplate Lake O'Higgins, the deepest in America and the fifth in the world, with its 836 meters of depth; the surface of Southern Ice Fields, the third most important reserve of fresh water in the world, after Greenland and Antarctica.

Our Southern Ice Camps, with its 350 kilometers north-south and 60 kilometers east-west, with an ice thickness that exceeds 1200 meters depth; and the O'Higgins glacier, with an extension of 3.5 kilometers, and an ice wall that exceeds 80 meters in height.

These are the fundamental tones of our commune. Surely the most pristine natural laboratory on the planet, our Southern Ice Fields contain more than 20,000 years of history of our Earth's atmosphere, which are witnesses of many terrestrial phenomena.

There is frozen a story that has not been unraveled for thousands of years. God blessed us by going to hide our liquid and crystalline treasure, which is life and future, to our land, in the extreme south of America.

We are aware that climate change in our adversary and will continue to be every year. Our fight must be frontal against climate change, because all of you, ladies and gentlemen, know that these fields and ice also have the virtue of cooling the large masses of hot air, that is, regulating the temperature of the planet.

Research conducted by Harvard University report that the loss of ice has advanced 30 years. Therefore, today we are losing important reserves of fresh water, vital for human development, the flora and fauna of the entire planet.

Our O'Higgins Glacier has retreated more than 10 kilometers in a few years, demonstrating the veracity of the issue and the urgency to take measures to protect these frozen rivers that move constantly with force to die in the sea.

Planet Earth is a living being, it breathes as we humans do; its organs are larger and stronger, it does so through its volcanoes; our veins are its rivers and our skeleton are the rocks scattered all over the surface.

With this wealth in our hands and before our vision, we have decided as a community to lay the fundamental foundations to avoid otherwise our commune, located between rivers, deep lakes, and ice fields; because we understand that its future and ours will depend on our attitude towards climate change, but it is also the indiscriminate contamination that we observe in all areas of our daily life.

We have declared ourselves a community with natural and attractive touristic and scientific interests of high importance; this leads us to a relentless fight against all kinds of garbage that could affect the purity of our natural resources, designing public policies and taking all protective measures. It is a duty of authority and community.

We think with great conviction that we lack at the global, regional, and local level a systematic observation of the nature of our Earth, that which allows us to have life; because we are intimately linked to it and on which we depend. This clear, pure, distinct conscience should never abandon us.

Therefore we believe that the time has come to inhabit this planet in a different way, being aware and responsible of how we should live in harmony with it, without attacking it; because all aggression is on account of our survival.

There is no doubt that science and technology have increased our well-being, but our irresponsibility, our desire for profit, our non-conscience cause irreparable damage that we must avoid.

We declare to all of you, with much pride and affection, that our community of Villa O'Higgins, which we represent today, the most important and significant thing that we have developed as a municipality is the effort we have made for all the inhabitants (from the smallest to even the elderly) are fully aware and willing to combat the garbage with force, decision, and drive. Today we process more than 90% of it.

It is this human consciousness that lives in our commune that allows us to be here today among all of you with much pleasure and pride.

I am convinced that we are not on the way to paradise: The environment has been screaming at us the urgency for some time –now, at the level of society– to incorporate new paradigms that move away from what has made us so destructive.

I invite you to create that awareness in your communities, and you will triumph; look for a new more friendly and responsible way to live with our planet in order to deliver it to our future generations less polluted.

That is the invitation I make to all of you for the experience we have had in this small commune, south of our beloved country, in which today we process 90% of all our garbage.

The invitation is that it is possible; and I think that you too, in being here, are in favor of the same convictions.

Thank you.


Thank you Roberto Recabal Cárcamo, Mayor of the city of Villa O’Higgins of Chile, and his clear vision of his model environmental work in Chile that has projected him to be today in CUMIPAZ 2018.

Immediately we bring the person who was in this morning’s opening act to address the indigenous community of Izhora Shojkula, which is Dmitri Kharakka-Zaitsev. I briefly remind you his résumé, that he is the Vice President of the United Nations Permanent Forum and he comes precisely to affirm his position in defense of the minority. Please pay much attention because yesterday speaking to him, he truly brings forth a unique experience and that should serve to stop all violations to indigenous peoples and those violations to human rights.