Tierra Austral leads governance workshop at The Cerro Poqui Nature Sanctuary

In early August, Tierra Austral and the consulting firm Photosintesis jointly hosted and moderated the first governance workshop at the Cerro Poqui Nature Sanctuary at the Doñihue Public Library. The workshop was attended by park rangers and other stakeholders who are strongly committed to the long-term stewardship of this beautiful nature reserve, which is protected in perpetuity by a Derecho Real de Conservación agreement. The participants in the workshop had a lively and constructive discussion about long-term sustainable management and governance goals for the reserve. This meeting, set an important precedent for ongoing discussions about, and planning for, the permanent conservation and sustainable management of Cerro Poqui.

Don Weeden joins the Board of Directors of Fundación Tierra Austral

Don Weeden is an internationally-known conservation leader who recently retired from serving for more than 20 years as the Executive Director of the New York-based Weeden Foundation, an international organization that supports a wide range of programs that aim to preserve biodiversity, nationally and internationally.

Don has had an instrumental role in launching the private lands conservation efforts in Chile and, from now on, he joins the Board of Directors of Tierra Austral to add his experience and commitment with the protection of our ecosystems to the work we do.

Annual monitoring in Valle California: Tierra Austral visits Palena to assess the conservation status of a 3,200-ha. private protected area

The first property ever protected by Tierra Austral is the magnificent Valle California landscape, which is located in Palena, Los Lagos Region, in Patagonia. Tierra Austral’s staff has monitoring Valle California for compliance with the Servidumbre Voluntaria agreement every year since 2015.  During 2020 and 2021, Covid pandemic travel restrictions required the staff to complete this monitoring remotely, using satellite images. In March of 2022, the staff had the chance to visit the property for the first time in more than two years.

One more sign of the resilience of the sclerophyllous forest

Two months after the forest fire that consumed 216 hectares of native forest in the Las Damas hill (VI region), we returned to the place with the professor and doctor in Forest Sciences, Marcelo Miranda, representatives of the organization De Quillayquén a Poqui and the Municipality of Coltauco. The objective was to assess the state of the forest and contribute to the discussion on how to restore damaged ecosystems. With enthusiasm we confirmed the resilience of the sclerophyllous forest that is already showing signs of recovery with regrowths of more than 12 different endemic species.

Tierra Austral signs new agreement that conserves rare Mediterranean habitat in Central Chile

A few weeks ago, Tierra Austral joined with the owners of the El Níspero property to sign an agreement to formally protect this beautiful and ecologically rare landscape. El Níspero is located in the Coastal Mountain Range of the commune of Coltauco, O'Higgins Region. This agreement would protect about 85 hectares with the Derecho Real de Conservación. The property is of particular importance because it is listed as a Priority Site for the Conservation of Biodiversity in Chile’s National Biodiversity Strategy . El Níspero is also significant because its protection would help create landscape connectivity between the Coastal Range and the Andes.

Tierra Austral team visits the Cochamó Valley to explore possible land conservation opportunities

In February, the Tierra Austral team traveled to La Junta in the Cochamó Valley, Los Lagos Region, where it met with the Puelo Patagonia organization to discuss conservation projects and opportunities in this beautiful area. The two NGOs talked about the possibility of protecting priority landscapes, including those threatened by unsustainable development, with Derecho Real de Conservación (DRC) agreements.

Tierra Austral officially joins the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

On February 16, the IUCN Council approved the admission of Fundación Tierra Austral as one of the 2 new members of South America, out of a total of 19 organizations around the world. From now on, and as an active member of the IUCN, Tierra Austral will join the more than 1400 governmental and non-governmental organizations that contribute to nature conservation and the transition to sustainable development worldwide.

Tierra Austral lectures on private lands conservation in Chile and beyond to European University classes

Henry Tepper, Tierra Austral's Strategic Conservation Advisor, has joined with Angelo Salsi, Director of Natural Resources, Climate, Sustainable Blue Economy, and Clean Energy at the European Commission's Life Program, to deliver a series guest lectures to graduate students at European universities. The subject of the lectures is to talk about private lands conservation globally, including the Chilean case with the Derecho Real de Conservación and the BHPF-supported Boldo to Cantillana mediterranean habitat conservation project.

Chilean National Congress passes tax reform legislation with incentives for charitable contributions to non-profit organizations

After decades of debate, the Chilean Congress passed tax reform legislation that will create important new incentives for philanthropy in Chile, including for contributions to environmental conservation. Tierra Austral welcomes this tax reform legislation, which it believes will make it easier for private landowners to take action to protect their properties with DRCs and will encourage increased support of environmental conservation.

Tierra Austral staff visits Parque Valle Los Ulmos to advance property’s permanent protection

Tierra Austral visited this place of more than 600 hectares of evergreen forest in Los Lagos Region that will be protected in perpetuity, through the implementation of a Derecho Real de Conservación (DRC) There, our team witnessed the richness of endemic flora and fauna that inhabit the park, in addition to the diversity of amphibians that takes refuge in this private conservation initiative that reconciles the protection of nature with sustainable and planned cohabitation. One more step to preserve these ecosystems!

Boldo Cantillana project: Tierra Austral completes phase one and achieves approval for phase two

The Boldo Cantillana project protects ecologically significant landscapes composed of Chile's Mediterranean habitat, with the aim of generating a 930,000-hectare landscape corridor that extends from Santiago to Zapallar, connecting the Coastal Range to the Andes Mountains. Between 2019 and 2021, Tierra Austral completed the first phase of this project with the signing of three DRC agreements: two in the O'Higgins Region and one in the Metropolitan Region. During the second phase of the project, the use of this tool in the corridor will be created, replicated, consolidated, and expanded, increasing the protected area.

Tierra Austral signs a new Derecho Real de Conservación in Cantillana mountain range

Through the signing of a new Derecho Real de Conserbación (DRC) in the Águila Sur Ecological Community (Paine, Metropolitan Region) more than 230 hectares of the Mediterranean ecosystem of central Chile will be preserved. Under this DRC, native and endemic species such as the litre, quillay, peumo, canelo and the lingue, will be protected in perpetuity from threats typical of the central area of the country such as deforestation or the advance of agricultural projects.

Community activity at Cerro Poqui Nature Sanctuary

To end the year, Tierra Austral held an activity with the community of Coltauco, to learn about the biological richness of the sanctuary, and tell them about the conservation project that is being carried out. Through the implementation of a DRC, a management plan was built that will guide the effective and sustainable management of the sanctuary, in order to guarantee its long-term conservation. Thus, access control will be implemented to protect the conservation area; a measure which was positively received by the community, reaffirming the collective commitment to take care of  Poqui.

Tierra Austral presents at ILCN-ELCN Global Land Conservation Congress

The event, organized by the International Conservation Network (ILCN) and the European Land Conservation Network (Eurosite-ELCN), brought together professionals and entities dedicated to conservation to highlight the efforts made to protect biodiversity and restore ecosystems worldwide. Tierra Austral participated as an exhibitor with the aim of discussing and comparing the different legal tools that are being used to protect private lands, delving into their development process, challenges and achievements, highlighting the Derecho Real de Conservación.

Tierra Austral signs a new Derecho Real de Conservación agreement in Chilean Patagonia

With the establishment of a Derecho Real de Conservación agreement, 70 hectares of critical habitats on the banks of the Futaleufú River, Los Lagos region, will be protected in perpetuity. This new protected area has an important ecological value for the restoration of the ecosystem, highlighting the presence of species in the conservation category such as the Cypress of the Cordillera and animals such as the puma, güiña and the huemul.

Visiting the King Penguin Nature Reserve

The Tierra Austral team visited this valuable private conservation initiative in Porvenir, Magallanes Region, Tierra del Fuego The @pinguinorey team received us and guided us on our tour in which we were able to visit the home of a colony of more than 140 penguins, unique in South America, which found in the reserve a place to nest, feed and grow protected on the shores of the Strait of Magellan. In addition to the conservation of the King Penguin, the reserve is dedicated to the conservation of other endemic species, ecotourism and environmental education.

Tierra Austral participates in a seminar on forest species adaptation and climate change

In the current context of climate crisis, our Executive Director, Victoria Alonso, together with Ricardo Díaz, Head of The Environmental Assessment Department of CONAF, and Carlos Marambio, specialist evaluator of the Environmental Assessment Service, participated in a webinar in which different options were presented to face the loss of forests as one of the main effects of climate change.

Tierra Austral signs commitment to establish a Derecho Real de Conservación in Parque Valle Los Ulmos (X Region)

that seeks to reconcile the preservation of nature with sustainable habitability. A refuge for amphibians and endemic species, the park is a key place for environmental education and scientific research about ecological restoration. The community of partners of Parque Valle Los Ulmos together with Tierra Austral and the NGO Ranita de Darwin  -who will act as co-owners- committed to establish a Real Right of Conservation (DRC) on 90% of the property that will protect these ecosystems in perpetuity, generating, in addition, the first Frog Sanctuary in the country.

First Forest Fire Prevention Workshop

Last Wednesday, October 20, Tierra Austral held the first Forest Fire Prevention Workshop for owners who have properties in the Mediterranean ecosystem of Central Chile. Through the seed capital of the Boldo a Cantillana project -supported by the BHP Foundation- Tierra Austral organized this instance in the Altos de Cantillana Natural Reserve, in the commune of Paine, in which more than 20 owners participated. The day began with talks and trainings by the National Forestry Corporation (Conaf), continued with the exchange of experiences between owners and ended with a practical simulation activity where attendees were able apply what they learned.

Tierra Austral participates in the Land Trust Alliance Rally 2021

Fundación Tierra Austral participated as a speaker in the 2021 version of the Land Trust Alliance Rally, an event that brings together non-profit organizations around the world dedicated to the conservation of private lands and the protection of nature through different legal tools. On this occasion, the panel "A Land Trust Grows in Chile: The Tierra Austral Foundation" was led to give an account of our experience developing conservation projects on private lands through the use of the Derecho Real de Conservación. It also important to highlight that Tierra Austral’s staff participated in the technical training workshops of the event, to strength the work carried out by each our specialists.

Tierra Austral signs a commitment to establish a Derecho Real de Conservación in an area next to the San Juan de Piche Nature Sanctuary.

San Juan de Piche is in the heart of the Cordón de Cantillana, a priority site for the conservation of Chile's biodiversity. With an area of 1,617 hectares, this place has unique ecological attributes due to the variety of its ecosystems, the diversity and endemism of its flora and fauna. Thus, the Robles de Cantillana Corporation -entity in charge of the administration of the Sanctuary- together with Tierra Austral, undertook to establish a Derecho Real de Conservación to protect in perpetuity more than 100 hectares in the area of access to the Sanctuary, creating a new private protected area in the Cordón de Cantillana that will contribute to reduce the risk of affectation of the protected habitat in San Juan de Piche.

Tierra Austral achieves a new Derecho Real de Conservación agreement in Panquehue

Within the framework of the Boldo Cantillana project, supported by the BHP Foundation, Tierra Austral established a new Derecho Real de Conservación (DRC) agreement on La Giganta hill, Panquehue commune, Valparaíso Region. In its role as a Land Trust, Tierra Austral signed as the holder of this conservation agreement that will protect 228 hectares of the property in perpetuity, corresponding to the 94% of the total area of the land. Thus, the establishment of this DRC agreement marks a relevant milestone in the protection of the Mediterranean ecosystem of central Chile, one of the most threatened areas in the country.

Tierra Austral implements a remote monitoring modality

Through the use of satellite images obtained from the Landsat and/or Sentinel programs, the remote monitoring methodology allows constant and remote monitoring of each property, complementing field monitoring. Thus, with a time scale between 5 and 15 days, remote monitoring is presented as an opportunity to evaluate remote lands of difficult access or greater extension and, at the same time, makes it possible to raise the necessary alerts early and take measures to face threats or possible violations of the perimeters of the areas under conservation.

Tierra Austral participates as a member of the jury for the National Environmental Award 2021

In the seventh version of the National Environmental Award, led by Fundación Recyclápolis, the executive director of Fundación Tierra Austral, Victoria Alonso, was invited to be part of the jury in charge of evaluating and choosing the winning projects. The instance seeks to highlight initiatives of the public and private sector that propose innovative solutions for the productive and sustainable development of Chile. There were 12 winning projects out of a total of 85 in competition.

Tierra Austral and Fundación Reforestemos sign a collaborative agreement to support and strengthen private lands conservation

Fundación Reforestemos and Tierra Austral will work together to advance conservation projects on private lands through the implementation of Derecho Real de Conservación (DRC) agreements. The agreement states that Tierra Austral will provide technical support to Reforestemos to protect forest properties with DRC agreements. Both organizations are committed to using best standards and practices in the DRC agreements and all elements of these projects.

Tierra Austral and The Pew Charitable Trusts launch new digital platform to promote private lands conservation

Fundación Tierra Austral and the international organization The PEW Charitable Trusts have launched a new educational website to disseminate information about the Derecho Real de Conservación (DRC), and promote best practices for its use. The principal goal of the new website is to raise awareness of the DRC, and to provide practical information about how it can be an attractive, secure and flexible land protection tool for a diverse range of property owners throughout Chile.

View this link www.derechoaconservar.cl to see explanatory videos, important information documents, and stories from landowners about their successful use of the DRC.

Tierra Austral signed three Derecho Real de Conservación agreements

Tierra Austral has recently signed three Derecho Real de Conservación (DRC) agreements, and signed an MoU on a fourth, protecting critical habitat in several regions of the country. The DRC is the Chilean equivalent of a conservation easement in the US or a conservation covenant in Australia, and is now a part of Chile's Civil Law. The DRC agreements include: the Cerro Poqui property, which is comprised of the rarest, most threatened and least protected habitat in Chile, the Mediterranean habitat of the Central Valley-- this is FTA's highest conservation priority; the Lago Chapo property in northern Patagonia; and the Rio Chico property, located in the Futalefeú River Watershed, also in Patagonia. The MoU will protect the Casa Ecologica landscape, which is also comprised of beautiful Mediterranean habitat. After years of hard work and planning, FTA will now be protecting many more landscapes using the Derecho Real de Conservación. We are grateful to our committed conservation landowners, and to the BHP Foundation for its multi-year support of our work.

Webinar on Derecho Real de Conservación

The Fundación Tierra Austral collaborated with The PEW Charitable Trusts to host a webinar called “The Derecho Real de Conservación as an Iinstrument for PrivateLland Conservation. Presenters at the webinar included Victoria Alonso, the Executive Director of Tierra Austral, Franco Acchiardo, a Partner at the Grasty Quintana Majlis Law Firm and Henry Tepper, FTA’s Strategic Conservation Advisor, who is also an Instructor in the Sustainability Program at the Harvard University Extension School and Brandeis University.

Participation in the Land Trust Alliance Rally

Several members of Tierra Austral’s staff participated in the Land Trust Alliance Rally, an event organized annually by the Land Trust Alliance, the national service organization for private, non-profit land conservation organizations in the United States. This year, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the three-day Rally was held virtually. FTA’s Strategic Conservation Advisor Henry Tepper joined several colleagues from the International and European Conservation Networks and the Australian Land Conservation Alliance to make a presentation called “Private Land Conservation Around the World: New Opportunities to Teach and Learn.”

Webinars on Standards and Best practices in Private Lands Conservation in Chile

In connection to the publication described above, Tierra Austral and ASÍ Conserva Chile hosted a series of 6 webinars to present the best practices for private lands conservation in Chile. The workshops covered a comprehensive range of topics, including land trust governance and the use of the Derecho Real de Conservación. These workshops were also well-attended, and the FTA team answered the many questions asked by the attendees.

Launch of publication on Best Practices for Private Lands Conservation in Chile

Tierra Austral and ASí Conserva Chile have released an important new publication, “Standards for Private Land Conservation in Chile.” The publication, which was made possible by a grant from the Innova CORO Project, provides detailed and practical information on both the operation of NGO land conservation groups and on all facets of the practice of the Derecho Real de Conservación. Staff from FTA and ASÍ Conserva Chile spoke about the publication at an online workshop that was attended by more than 350 people, including landowners, non-profit organizations, practitioners, and other entities involved in private lands conservation.

You can download the publication here: https://www.estandaresparaconservar.cl/

FTA participates in the Virtual International Land Conservation Network Global Congress

Fundación Tierra Austral presented its El Boldo to Cantillana project at the International Land Conservation Network Congress (ILCN), organized by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. Other members of the Peer Large Landscape Learning Exchange also presented at the webinar, which was organized as a temporary replacement for the in-person Third Annual ILCN Congress.

Participation in the annual meeting organized by the BHP Foundation

Fundación Tierra Austral participated in the Online Annual Partners Workshop organized by the BHP Foundation. The workshop was originally scheduled as an in-person meeting to be held in the Amazonian forest in Peru, but, because of the COVID-19 Pandemic, it was rescheduled as three online workshops.

Participation in the annual meeting organized by ALCA

Fundación Tierra Austral participated in the Annual Meeting organized by the Australian Land Conservation Alliance (ALCA), held in Adelaide, Australia. Tierra Austral Board member and consultant Henry Tepper discussed the Boldo-Cantillana project as part of a panel on the BHP Foundation’s Environmental Resilience Program, and he also spoke at an all-day Conservation Finance Workshop.

Participation in the Chile-California Exchange Program

For the third year in a row, Fundación Tierra Austral helped plan and made a presentation at the Annual Meeting of the Chile-California Exchange Program, which was held in October, 2019, in Point Reyes, California, United States. FTA’s Executive Director Diego Tabilo presented the Boldo-Cantillana project at the meeting.

Participation in the Large Landscape Peer Learning Exchange, organized by the Lincoln Institute for Land Policy

In 2018 and 2019, Tierra Austral participated in a series of meetings of the first Large Landscape Peer Exchange, which has been organized by the Lincoln Institute for Land Policy. In September of 2019, in Woodstock, Vermont, United States, FTA Executive President Victoria Alonso and Board member Henry Tepper made a presentation on the Boldo-Cantillana project at the third and last meeting of the Peer Exchange. Other participants in the Exchange included the leaders of the Appalachian Trail and Conservancy (Eastern USA), Golden Gate Park (San Francisco, USA) and the Ruta de los Parques (Patagonia, Chile).

Execution of cooperation agreement with the Pro Bono Foundation

Marking a significant breakthrough for the long-term stewardship of its Derecho Real de Conservación agreements, the Fundación Tierra Austral and the Pro Bono Foundation signed an agreement in which the Foundation made the commitment to provide free legal defense of the Derecho Real de Conservación agreements held by Tierra Austral.

Workshop on Standards of the Derecho Real de Conservación

Within the framework of the project Establecimiento de Estándares para Iniciativas de Conservación Privada (ICP), Land Trusts y uso del Derecho Real de Conservación (DRC) en Chile, a participatory workshop on the DRC was held, in which the standards proposed where analyzed and the principles and indicators of the law were discussed.

Workshop on Land Trust Standards

Within the framework of the project Establecimiento de Estándares para Iniciativas de Conservación Privada (ICP), Land Trusts y uso del Derecho Real de Conservación (DRC) en Chile, a presentation on Land Trusts and their function both in Chile and abroad was made. Fundación Tierra Austral took the opportunity to give a presentation, as co-implementer of the CORFO Project and also as current Land Trust in Chile. Additionally, group work was performed in order to analyze and discuss the proposed standards.

Participation in the International Land Conservation Network Global Congress

Fundación Tierra Austral participated and was fully engaged in the planning of the second Global Congress of the International Land Conservation Network: “From Communities to Countries: Visionary Conservation in a Changing World”, held in Santiago in January of 2018. The Congress was particularly exciting for Tierra Austral, because it showcased the globally influential leadership of the Chilean private lands conservation initiative and FTA’s leadership role in this effort. In particular, Tierra Austral had a chance to raise awareness of the Derecho Real de Conservación among conservation professionals from around the world, and in particular from countries that use Civil Law.

Seminar at the Land Trust Alliance Rally

Representatives of Fundación Tierra Austral participated in a well-received panel presentation at the national meeting of the Land Trust Alliance in Denver, Colorado, United States. Joining FTA on the panel were several of our closest friends and colleagues, leaders of the long, complex and ultimately successful effort to pass the Derecho Real de Conservación in the Chilean Congress in 2016. The panelists included: Michael Grasty, of the law firm Grasty, Quintana & Majlis, and now the Chair of FTA’s Board of Directors; Roberto Peralta, of the law firm Peralta, Gutiérrez & Asociados, and now a member of FTA’s Board; Victoria Alonso, then the Chair of FTA’s Board and now its Executive Director; FTA Board member and consultant Henry Tepper, Fundación Tierra Austral; Francisco Solís, the Executive Director of the Pew Charitable Trusts program in Chile; and Jim Levitt of the Lincoln Institute for Land Policy and the International Land Conservation Network, who served as Moderator.

Forum for lawyers and representatives of the private sector

Fundación Tierra Austral participated in an event organized by the Pro Bono Foundation. The Foundation invited Tierra Austral to give a lecture at a forum on the “benefits and challenges of the Derecho Real de Conservación”. The presenters were Michael Grasty and Franco Acchiardo, of the law firm Grasty, Quintana & Majlis, engaged in private conservation in Chile for some time now. Henry Tepper, member of the board of Tierra Austral, Martijn Wilder, partner of the law firm Baker & McKenzie Australia, and Carolina Contreras, Executive Director of the Pro Bono Foundation, were also presenters.

New private lands conservation enabling legislation is passed by the Chilean Congress

Law 20,930, creating the new Derecho Real de Conservación, was enacted by the Government of Chile, upon the unanimous consent of the Congress. The new law, which has been the focus of an eight-year effort by conservation efforts, is widely viewed as a breakthrough for private lands conservation in Chile and beyond.

Tierra Austral joins the Land Trust Alliance

Fundación Tierra Austral became a member of the Land Trust Alliance, the national service organization for private, non-profit land conservation organizations in the United States.

The Senate of Chile adopts, in general, the Derecho Real de Conservación

On May 7th, 2014, by 29 votes in favor, no dissenting votes and no abstentions, the Senate passed private lands conservation enabling legislation, the Derecho Real de Conservación. The next step in the Chilean Congress’s consideration of this law will be an analysis by the Joint Commissions (Congressional Committees) on Constitution and Environment.

Tierra Austral visits Sonoma Land Trust

The Executive Director of Fundación Tierra Austral Gabriela Franco and board member David Tecklin were invited by the Sonoma Land Trust, a prominent land trust in California in the United States, to learn about its private conservation projects and strategies in the Mediterranean climate of California. Gabriela and David had the opportunity to learn about the Sonoma Land Trust, to visit some of the properties that it has conserved, and to tell the land trust’s leadership about the work of Tierra Austral. While in the US, Gabriela and David also participated in a statewide conference of California land trusts.