This is Chile - Planting the first of what it hopes will be a million trees, Reforestemos Patagonia officially launched a campaign that will restore large swathes of Chilean Patagonia to pristine wilderness.
Inspired into action by wildfires that ravaged much of the iconic Torres del Paine National Park in December of last year and this January, the non-profit, public-private initiative will collect donations from Chileans and people around the world to donate native trees to the national parks and reserves of southern Chile.
So it was fitting that the campaign began planting in the park famed for its striking, jagged peaks. The first tree was planted in the Weber-Explora sector of Torres del Paine, an area that will receive 20,000 native lengas, ñirres y coigües over the duration of the initiative.
Matías Rivera, executive director of Reforestemos Patagonia, hailed the first week of the planting as a success, but called on the international community for more support.
“This event kicks-off a concrete effort to recuperate part of Chilean Patagonia,” Rivera said. “In the first week, individuals and businesses have donated more than 60,000 trees, but we need a lot more to achieve our goals.”
“This is something concrete that everyone can do,” Rivera said, “according to their own personal motivation, whether it be having their own forest, to gifting a tree as a birthday present or for an anniversary, whether they are doing it out of the fact that they like Patagonia, want to combat global warming or simply because it strikes them as a noble cause.”
How to get involved
Buying a tree to be planted in Patagonia is simple and you can do it from anywhere in the world. All you need is US$4 and a computer. Just head to the official website and follow the steps.
Once you have bought a tree, you will receive an electronic certificate and a link to Google Maps with the geographic location of your tree, so you can learn about and even visit the area that you have helped reforest.