CONAF-Arica y Parinacota, part of Chile’s National Forestry Corporation, was created in 1973 under the Allende government, with the objective of “contributing to the conservation, increased management, and use of the country’s forest reserves.”
CONAF’S mission is to contribute to the sustainable management of native forests, xerophytic formations and forest plantations through the functions of promotion, oversight of forestry legislation, environmental protection and the protection of vegetation. Its mission embraces the conservation of biological diversity through the National System of Protected Wild Areas, for the benefit of society.
Hector Ricardo Peñaranda Antezan is the Regional Director of the National Forestry Corporation (CONAF) of Chile for the Region of Arica and Parinacota. Trained as a financial management professional, Hector has 30 years of experience within CONAF, serving as Regional Finance Manager, Regional Computing Manager, Head of Studies, Head of Management Control, and a previous stint as Regional Director from 2010-2014. During that time, Hector spearheaded and was the President of the Fourth International Congress of Ecology and Forest Conservation of Polylepis, held in Arica, Chile. He also led the “One Chilean, One Tree” Bicentennial Program during his first tenure as regional director of CONAF. He now leads projects such as a Global Environmental Facility grant for sustainable land management, which involves the afforestation of Polylepis and integrated management of wetlands.
Carlos Nassar San Martin is CONAF’s head of the Department of Wild Protected Areas in the Arica and Parinacota regions of Chile. Carlos joined CONAF in 1981, as a ranger at Lauca National Park. He became administrator of the park in 1990 and eight years later assumed responsibility of all the protected units of the region. He held this position until 2003, when he joined the regional protected wild areas team. Since 2010, Carlos has held the position of Head of the Department of Protected Wildlife Areas, overseeing the management of the four protected wild areas, covering an area of 370,000 hectares (more than 900,000 acres). He is responsible for implementation of the National Species Conservation Plans in the Arica and Parinacota regions of northern Chile.
Field & Production Coordinators
Sandro Maldonado: “I started my conservation career in 2000 and joined CONAF in 2008. Since 2010, I have been in charge of indigenous affairs in Arica and Parinacota. I also serve as climate change coordinator at the Lauca Biosphere Reserve and work with local communities to protect the wild areas of Chile’s Parinacota region. Working with local communities is the key to effective conservation. I know most indigenous communities in the region and I firmly believe that change must originate within these communities.”
Victor Quezada is a forester, specializing in native forestry and extension services. In 2009, he began work as an extension agent in the commune of Putre, Chile. Two years later, he joined the National Forestry Corporation (CONAF) and has since worked on forestry development and environmental assessment projects in northern Chile. He currently serves as Chief of the Department of Development and Forestry Development.