Tompkins Conservation signed an agreement with Chile’s government to donate 1 million acres for new national parks in the largest private donation of its kind for the South American nation.
Chilean President Michelle Bachelet signed the deal with Kristine McDivitt Tompkins, the widow of American conservationist Doug Tompkins, who built a legacy protecting threatened ecosystems in Argentina and Chile.
“This is a key step to treasuring this giant source of biodiversity and safe keep it in the public interest,” Bachelet said at a ceremony in southern Chile.
The agreement will provide land to create three new national parks, expand three existing national parks and unite some national forests into two national parks.
The proposal will eventually help create the “Route of Parks,” a network of 17 parks spanning more than 1,500 miles from Puerto Montt to Cape Horn. In all, the plan ultimately seeks to increase Chile’s national parkland by more than 10 million acres. Tompkins Conservation said the area that will be protected is three times the size of the United States’ Yosemite and Yellowstone national parks combined.