Pushback on Chile’s plan for new Patagonian park


Guanacos on former ranchland that is slated to form part of a new conservation and recreation area, Patagonia National Park, planned for Chile’s Aysén region. (Photo by Linde Waidhofer)

With little more than a month remaining on her second term as president of Chile, Michelle Bachelet on Jan. 29th of this year signed the last of a series of decrees that collectively expanded three national parks in Patagonia and created five new ones in the region. Taken together, the decrees provide for an expansion of the Chilean park system by 40,000 square kilometers (15,000 sq miles), or over 40%. “We have a great commitment to the planet,” Bachelet said at a public signing ceremony to mark the occasion. She was accompanied by Kristine McDivitt Tompkins of Tompkins Conservation, a nonprofit formed by Tompkins and her late husband, Douglas Tompkins, to buy large tracts and turn them over to the government on condition they become national parkland. “The creation of this network of parks is a contribution to Chile and the world,” Bachelet said. Under the terms of one of... [Log in to read more]

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