Chilean national park to expand by 11 million acres

Driven by the private land donation from the Tompkins Conservation, the Chilean government has announced the vast expansion of its national parks.

Patagonia pixabay

American conservationist Kristine Tompkins and Chilean president Michelle Bachelet has pledged to grow the nation’s national park lands by roughly 11 million hectares.

The announcement is the culmination of decades of work by Tompkins and her late husband and North Face co-founder, Douglas Tompkins.

As part of the joint pledge taken on March 22 during a ceremony at the Pumalín Park, the Tompkins Conservation will donate close to a million acres to the Chilean government and the country has agreed to reclassify 10 million hectares of federal land for conservation.

“There’s never, to our knowledge, been a larger expansion of a national park system that was prompted by a private land donation,” Tom Butler of Tompkins Conservation told The Huffington Post.

The pledge will see the creation of five new national parks which includes Tompkins Conservation’s flagship 715,000-acre Pumalín Park and its 200,000-acre Patagonia Park.

“I know that if Doug were here today, he would speak of national parks being one of the greatest expressions of democracy that a country can realise, preserving the masterpieces of a nation for all of its citizenry,” said Kristine in a statement.

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