Biggest Private Land Donation, Chile
Kristine McDivitt Tompkins, the widow of US billionaire Doug Tompkins (North Face co-founder), has just donated 408,000 hectares of land to Chile for national parks to be created.
When Douglas Tompkins first arrived there in the early 1990s, many in Chile regarded him and his wife Kristine with suspicion. Why were these rich "gringos" coming to southern Chile and buying up vast tracts of land?
Chileans worried that the Tompkins would eventually own land from the coast to the Argentine border, effectively splitting their country in two.
But relations improved and the Tompkins have won over their sceptics with their commitment to "rewilding" Patagonia - returning it to nature and mitigating the impact of man.
Described as the largest private land donation to a state in history, the donated 408,000 hectares (one million acres) will form part of a network of 17 national parks in Patagonia covering an area the size of Switzerland.
As part of the joint pledge the Chilean government, for its part, has agreed to contribute and reclassify roughly 10 million acres of government-held lands for conservation.
“National Parks are the gold standard for conservation” - Doug Tompkins.