Chile To Open 10 Million Acres Of Nature Parks

They say you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone — and nature couldn’t agree more. Realizing the value of its waters, Mexico recently built the world’s largest marine reserve yet, spanning 57,000 square miles. Echoing its environmental efforts is Chile, transforming 10 million acres of land into five national parks.

The government signed a deal with Kristine McDivitt Tompkins, who worked with late husband Doug for decades to protect areas of Patagonia.

Tompkins Conservation, the not-for-profit organisation set up by the couple, said the area being protected was roughly the size of Switzerland.

Doug Tompkins, who founded iconic outdoor brand North Face, died in a tragic kayaking accident in 2015. Accused of land-grabbing, Tompkins’ was set purely on ecological preservation.

“I am proud of my husband Doug and his vision which continues to guide us, in addition to our entire team, for completing these two national parks and the broader network, a major milestone of our first 25 years of work,” [Mrs. Tompkins] said.

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Chile Snubs Iron Mine To Save Endangered Penguins

It may not be everyday that a group of elephants rescue 300 tourists from a flood. But when humans need them, animals are always eager to lend a hand — or paw. For the Chilean government, protecting wildlife the way they do us is very much a priority. It recently rejected a billion-dollar mining project in order to save endangered penguins.

A Chilean company, Andes Iron, had wanted to extract millions of tonnes of iron in the northern Coquimbo region as well as building a new port.

The area is home to 80% of the world’s Humboldt penguins as well as other endangered species, including blue whales, fin whales and sea otters.

Chile’s environmental minister asserted that while he believes in development, risking ecological areas is a no-go.

Correspondents say mining companies have in recent years had a harder time obtaining permits in Chile because of growing interest in the environment from politicians and public opinion.

Chilean miners are infuriated, understandably. However, the rejection is also a wake-up call. Mining may be the easy answer, but not necessarily the best one.

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