After Chilean fire, a reforestation campaign
This year got off to a nightmarish start for Chile’s crown-jewel conservation area, the Torres del Paine National Park. An out-of-control fire in late December that officials believe was started by an Israeli tourist spread fast and ultimately consumed some of the most prized areas of the park.
But consternation over the 17,000-hectare (43,000-acre) blaze has yielded something more hopeful: a public-private initiative to plant one million native trees in Torres del Paine and other parks in Chilean Patagonia by the end of this year. The Reforestemos Patagonia campaign, officially launched this month, calls for US$4 million in contributions from individuals, businesses and governments worldwide. It is the brainchild of Chilean Matías Rivera, general manager of Patagonia Sur, an environmental services and for-profit conservation company in Chile started by U.S. entrepreneur Warren Adams. (See “Private-conservation push broadens in Chile”—EcoAméricas, Oct. ’11.)