Chile has created five national parks, preserving large stretches of Patagonia, in a move that has been more than two decades in the making.
Over the past 20 years, US philanthropists Doug Tompkins and Kristine McDivitt Tompkins have acquired over 1 million acres of land, which - combined with land provided by the Chilean government - have resulted in this monumental act of conservation. The parks were signed into law on Monday by Chile’s president Michelle Bachelet.
This is the latest in a series of bold environmental protection laws that has been passed under Michelle Bachelet, who only last month secured one the largest marine protected areas off the coast of Easter Island, protecting 720,000 sq km of the Pacific Ocean.
Does this demonstrate a shift towards a more sustainable model of economic development for Chile, which has frequently relied on exploiting its natural resources to fuel further development? Could other nations in similar situations follow suit?