On the 2nd October, the president of Chile, Gabriel Boric, announced that the Atacama Desert will receive funding to develop and protect its ecosystems, with plans to turn the area into a national park. It is hoped that the funding will help to protect biodiversity within the region and help rare flower species to thrive. There are also hopes that the development will help to boost tourism in the area.
The Atacama Desert covers an area of 1,600km on the Pacific Coast, just west of the Andes Mountains, and is one of the driest, nonpolar deserts in the world. As well as flowers blooming during certain periods, the desert is also host to a range of cacti and succulents.
During certain months of the year, rainfall is exceptionally high, which is what helps to create the vast blooms of flowers. Almost 200 species of flower have been located in the area, attracting botanists and tourists.
The new national park will be Chile's 44th, and will be located around Llanos and Chañarcillo. However, the exact area has not yet been determined by the government.