The Valparaiso stopover,  a turning point in the implementation of real solutions for Easter Island?

Though Race for Water has left the military of port of Valparaiso, she is not leaving Chile altogether since the Odyssey is currently taking her towards Concepcion for a month-long technical stand-by. Two further stopovers in Chile will follow, the first on Robinson Crusoe Island in August and Easter Island in early September. 

This eighth stopover on the Race for Water Odyssey proved to be very intense since it was concentrated down into one week following the catamaran’s late arrival. Indeed, due to the lack of sunshine on the delivery trip between Peru and Chile, the crew led by Jean-Marc Normant had to pay special attention to managing its energy in order to make port safely on a boat powered by a mix of energy from the sun, wind and ocean.
This delay of a few days didn’t prevent the team from sticking to the programme however. Raising awareness about matters relating to plastic pollution among over 850 visitors aboard the boat, including 250 schoolchildren and nearly 70 decision-makers and politicians – amongst whom was the President of Chile himself and five of his ministers – the stopover proved to be a great success, particularly in terms of the future development of Easter Island.

Chile is one of the planet’s least polluting countries with an annual 1.1kg of waste per person. However, 97% of this ends up in what are often non-controlled landfill sites. Suffice to say that there is still a way to go to achieve a more sustainable method of managing waste. However, the ambition is there.

Camille Rollin, Head of ACT within the Foundation: “Numerous NGOs and local cooperatives are taking action on the ground along this set of themes. Interest amongst the government and manufacturers is also growing. This is evidenced by the number of directors welcomed aboard Race for Water last week, which totalled more than 70, as well as the law banning plastic bags. Right now, communication and collaboration between these different entities is necessary and urgent if we are to start acting to implement real solutions.”

During this stopover, the Race for Water Foundation facilitated a number of exchanges. The aim now is to continue with this work and to develop projects in key areas in order to set an example in as short a timeframe as possible.

Marco Simeoni, President of the Race for Water Foundation: “We had the privilege of welcoming representatives of the Rapa Nui community aboard the vessel, as well as the President of Chile, Mr Piñera, his Ministers and Senators. Thanks to these meetings and by putting forward concrete solutions, we’ve contributed to exchanges relating to the future development of Easter Island.
Guaranteeing self-sufficiency in terms of energy, water management and the recovery of waste on the most remote island in the world, such is the challenge we’ve set ourselves in collaboration with Gunter Pauli’s Zeri Foundation between now and 2020! Chile is a fantastic country and its population is very welcoming. I’m delighted I’ll have the opportunity to go back there soon to visit Concepción, then Robinson Crusoe Island and Easter Island.”

The Foundation’s ambassador vessel arrived in the port of Talchuano, at the gateway to Concepcion, yesterday (20 june). The boat will benefit from a month-long stand-by for various technical checks, before heading back out to sea on 30 July 2018 bound for the Chilean island of Robinson Crusoe.