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Kristine McDivitt, widow of the ecologist and founder of The North Face company, Douglas Tompkins, today offered a donation of 410,000 hectares to the Chilean government.
At the Palacio de La Moneda, headquarters of the Executive, the president of the southern country, Michelle Bachelet, heard the proposal of Tompkins' widow who offered the land corresponding to the Pumalín park, located in the Los Lagos region of Chilean Patagonia.
This park is a private nature reserve located in the southern lands of Chile, which has 409,785 hectares of humid forest, where ecotourism is practiced, and which the philanthropist protected during his life.
The donation of this park would mean the creation of a 4 million hectare park system in the southern part of Chile.
Speaking to journalists, Kristine McDivitt pledged the donation of the land on the condition that it be declared national parks.
After the meeting with Bachelet, DcDivitt pointed out that “it is a much longer process”, and added “I do not decide (the times) and I know that there is a commitment from both sides to work in all the stages that exist, which are necessary, but there is no specific date ”.
“The proposal is more complex than just the donation of the territories of our foundation, but our intention from the beginning when we started almost 25 years ago was to donate to the State not only the land, but also all the infrastructure that we have developed in these years and that goal has never changed, ”said the ecologist's widow.
The senator of the socialist party Juan Pablo Letelier, who was at the meeting, said that “(this) is the largest private donation of humanity, with the possibility of creating the park system in Patagonia and the most public-private succession great in history ”.
"What there is here is an extraordinary possibility and where donations and contributions from the State must be delimited," said the parliamentarian.
Douglas Tompkins, who passed away at age 72 last December, founded the clothing brands The Nort Face and Esprit and led a variety of green projects in which he was involved for much of his life.
The naturalist died in Chilean Patagonia, where he resided, due to severe hypothermia that he suffered while kayaking through the lakes in the southern part of Chile, where he suffered an accident.
This donation would not be the first philanthropic act of the Tompkins family, since in 2005 they handed over to the Chilean State their property located near the Corcovado volcano, thus contributing to the creation of the Corcovado National Park, of 293.8969 hectares and the sixth largest in Chile. .