Chile has officially created five new breathtakingly beautiful national parks, and expanded the boundaries of another two, protecting huge swaths of remote and rugged Patagonia.
The designation is largely down to the tireless efforts of US philanthropists Doug Tompkins and Kristine McDivitt Tompkins, who have donated the largest amount of private land to a government ever seen before. McDivitt Tompkins donated 1 million acres of private land which, along with her late husband, she has been spending the last 25 years buying up and restoring. On January 29, 2018, this was matched by a further 9 million acres as the Chilean president Michelle Bachelet signed the sprawling parks into law.
“With these beautiful lands, their forests, their rich ecosystems, we… expand the network of parks to more than 10 million acres,” Bachelet said in a statement. “Thus, national parks in Chile will increase by 38.5% to account for 81.1% of Chile’s protected areas.”