Category Archives: Other

Kristine McDivitt Tompkins Receives Recognition from Chilean-North American Chamber of Commerce

Kristine McDivitt Tompkins, President of Tompkins Conservation, was honored for her “Lifetime Contribution to the Wildlands of Chile” at the North American-Chilean Chamber of Commerce’s (NACCC) 100th anniversary celebration.

Various authorities—such as the Ambassador of Chile in the United States, his Excellency Alfonso Silva Navarro, and Roberto de Andraca, former President of the CAP Business Directory—participated in this event, which took place on Wednesday, October 10, 2018, in New York City. The President of the NACCC, Manuelita Cody, led the event.

Photo Credit: NACCC – North American-Chilean Chamber of Commerce

On this special ocassion, the North American-Chilean Chamber of Commerce paid special tribute to three individuals who have contributed to the relationship between Chile and the United States. One of them was Kristine McDivitt Tompkins, who was also the keynote speaker at the event. “I am very proud to receive this recognition on behalf of the entire Tompkins Conservation team. Chile is recognized worldwide for its conservation leadership, thanks to the tremendous public and private efforts that have allowed more than 20% of the country’s territory to be protected. We will continue to work on conservation in Chile and promote the Route of Parks of Chilean Patagonia,” said the philanthropist, who along with her husband Douglas Tompkins have helped create 13 national parks in Chile and Argentina through Tompkins Conservation.

Photo Credit: NACCC – North American-Chilean Chamber of Commerce

The other winners honored that evening were Alfredo Ergas, who received the “Executive of the Year” award, and Lester Zifrren, who received a special posthumous acknowledgment as “Historic Executive Director of the Chilean-North American Chamber of Commerce.”

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Campaign Promoting Route of Parks of Chilean Patagonia Launches

Tompkins Conservation and Imagen de Chile launched an initiative that seeks to promote Chilean Patagonia’s scenic 1,700-mile route, located between Puerto Montt and Cape Horn, and its 17 national parks and more than 60 surrounding communities.

Photo Credit: Weston Boyles

Photo Credit: Weston Boyles

Let Chile be recognized as a global example of tourism based on conservation. That is the ambition behind the Route of Parks of Chilean Patagonia campaign, launched by Tompkins Conservation and Imagen de Chile. The project seeks to promote the 1,700-mile route located between Puerto Montt and Cape Horn, along with the 17 National Parks and over 60 surrounding communities it encompasses, integrating the Carretera Austral, the Patagonian Channels, and the End of the World Route.

“We want Chile to be internationally recognized for having the most spectacular scenic route in the world, and thus become a benchmark for economic development based on conservation. The Route of Parks is a protected heritage of all Chileans, and its 17 national parks are a challenge and an opportunity, as much for the more than 60 communities that live near them as for those who visit them,” explained Carolina Morgado, Executive Director of Tompkins Conservation Chile, at a conference organized by Imagen de Chile.

Photo Credit: Rafael Pérez

Photo Credit: Rafael Pérez

In this regard, Jorge Cortés, Executive Director of Image of Chile stressed that, “abroad we are recognized as a destination ‘rich in natural beauty,’ as well as for being ‘exciting’ and ‘fascinating,’ so these parks will reinforce the global positioning of our extreme geography, especially in a sustainable framework.”

The campaign includes the new web page, www.rutadelosparques.org, which will provide all of those traveling to Patagonia with unique information about the territory, as well as suggested excursions, transportation tips, accommodation, and more than 50 trails tracked with GPS.

Photo Credit: Augusto Dominguez

Photo Credit: Augusto Dominguez

A contest was also announced, inviting participants to share an experience in 101-words about how national parks have changed their lives. The prize will be a tour for two people spanning much of the Route. The stories submitted will be collected and serve as the basis for a digital book.

Tompkins Conservation, together with other organizations, is exploring the feasibility of raising a private fund to contribute to the development of the Route of Parks, as other countries such as Costa Rica and Brazil have done.

Route of Parks Figures:

  • 17 National Parks
  • More than 60 communities
  • 1,700 miles, spanning from Puerto Montt to Cape Horn
  • 3 regions of Chile: Los Lagos, Aysén, and Magallanes
  • Over 28.4 million acres protected
  • 91% of the territory is categorized as national parkland
  • 140 species of birds
  • 46 species of mammals

National Parks Within the Route of Parks:

  1. Alerce Andino National Park
  2. Hornopirén National Park
  3. Pumalín National Park – Douglas R. Tompkins
  4. Corcovado National Park
  5. Melimoyu National Park
  6. Queulat National Park
  7. Isla Magdalena National Park
  8. Laguna San Rafael National Park
  9. Cerro Castillo National Park
  10. Patagonia National Park
  11. Bernardo O´Higgins National Park
  12. Kawésqar National Park
  13. Torres del Paine National Park
  14. Pali-Aike National Park
  15. Alberto de Agostini National Park
  16. Yendegaia National Park
  17. Cabo de Hornos National Park

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Kristine McDivitt Tompkins and Pope Francis Meet for First Time

President of Tompkins Conservation supports the expansion of the concept of “peace” to include peace between humans and the non-human world

Photo Credit: Servizio Fotografico Vaticano

VATICAN CITY (July 6, 2018) — Kristine McDivitt Tompkins, President and Cofounder of Tompkins Conservation, met with Pope Francis at the Vatican earlier this week.  Mrs. Tompkins was invited to a private audience with the Pope to discuss terrestrial and marine conservation, as well as strategies to generate economic development and prosperity from conservation in local communities.

Mrs. Tompkins sought Pope Francis’s thoughts on the idea that it is time to expand the concept of peace so that it not only refers to human interactions, but also peace between the human and non-human worldthat all life has intrinsic value and until there is true balance between all species and an equilibrium in our planetary ecosystem, human communities will not reach a peaceful and healthy existence.

Mrs. Tompkins and Pope Francis were joined by Sofia Heinonen, Director of Tompkins Conservation (TC) and The Conservation Land Trust (CLT). Tompkins and Heinonen discussed the programs TC and CLT have been leading in Chile and Argentina for the last 26 years that are dedicated to terrestrial and marine conservation and ecosystem restoration; rewilding protected areas; reintroducing locally-extinct species to their native range; and fostering economic development across communities connected to these conservation efforts.

The value of the creation of Peace Parks, in keeping with the values of the 2015 Laudato si’ Encyclical about working toward the “care of our common home,” was discussed and a dream of an emblematic Bi-Oceanic Peace Park in southern Chile and Argentina was thought interesting, as 40 years ago, Pope John Paul II mediated peace between the two countries.

The teams of Tompkins Conservation in Chile, Argentina and the United States are grateful and honored for the opportunity to have their work represented to Pope Francis and that Mrs. Tompkins could meet and discuss many areas of interest with His Holiness Pope Francis.

About Tompkins Conservation: Tompkins Conservation collaborates with the governments of Chile and Argentina, local organizations, and communities to create national parks— places of beauty, abundant wildlife, and recreation that serve as sources of income and pride to neighboring communities and the entire nation. To date, the organization has created 13 national parks and protected 13 million acres of national parklands with its partners. For more information, visit: www.tompkinsconservation.org

Tompkins Conservation was founded by Kristine and Douglas (1943–2015) Tompkins, business leaders from iconic American clothing brands including The North Face, Esprit, and Patagonia, Inc., who changed the course of their lives more than 25 years ago to devote their funds, time, and passion to fight the biggest crisis in the world: biodiversity loss. The Tompkinses ultimately concluded that creating large national parks where evolutionary processes could take their course was the most effective way to combat this loss. National parks represent the “gold standard” of biodiversity conservation, offering a unique set of ecological attributes, cultural values, and economic benefits to local communities, while also guaranteeing long-term conservation. Tompkins Conservation is the leader in the Americas in what is known as “rewilding,” restoring natural ecosystems and reintroducing wildlife that has disappeared from a region because of human pressures. In May 2018, Kristine Tompkins was designated UN Environment Patron of Protected Areas.

Media Contact:

Erin Louie Billman, Global Communications Director, Tompkins Conservation

louie@tompkinsconservation.org

+1 415 277 1846

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Tompkins Conservation Donates an Additional 103,000+ Acres of Land to Iberá Park in Argentina

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Photo: Rafa Abuín

PRESS RELEASE

November 10, 2017 — Corrientes Province, Argentina

On November 10, 2017, the future Iberá National Park in San Nicolás, Argentina, gained over 103,000 additional acres of land as part of a new, historic donation from Tompkins Conservation. On Friday, November 10, at 11 a.m., Kristine McDivitt Tompkins made this milestone transfer of land, the second major donation from Tompkins Conservation to expand Iberá Park.  These donations to Iberá Park, along with the adjacent Iberá Provincial Park, will form the largest parklands in Argentina.

This donation is part of a broader plan signed in 2016 by Tompkins Conservation and the provincial and national governments of Argentina to form the grand Iberá Park, a protected area that will measure a total of more than 1.7 million acres– which is more than twice the size of Yosemite National Park. Of these 1.7 million acres of contiguous protected parklands, almost 1.36 million acres acres will come from Iberá Provincial Park and 370,000 acres will come from Tompkins Conservation.

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Video by Rafa Abuín: “Land Donation to Iberá Park”

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Iberá Park, Corrientes, Argentina. Photo: Juan Rámon Díaz Colodrero

While today Tompkins Conservation is celebrating their donation to and the expansion of Iberá parklands, this is not the only park in their conservation portfolio. Through Tompkins Conservation, Kristine Tompkins and her late husband, Douglas Tompkins, have spent the last quarter century investing $345 million to establish extensive protected areas in Argentina and Chile. To date, they have created six national parks, with five more currently in process. With on-the-ground teams and projects in both countries, they are currently focused on their pledge with Chilean president Michelle Bachelet to create 10 million acres, which is three times the size of Yosemite and Yellowstone national parks combined, of new national parks in Chile.

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San Nicolás, November 10, 2017. Photo: Rafa Abuín

Fueled by a sense of urgency and responsibility, as well as a deep commitment to natural beauty and strong connection to South America, Kris is proud of the work that Tompkins Conservation has accomplished to date and has in store over the coming year. “All of us who love the Earth can see how the threats to wild places and creatures are growing. Conservationists know there is tremendous and urgent need and have incredible opportunities to expand national park systems, to work with local communities linking ecotourism-related economic development and nature protection, and to help build a culture of conservation throughout society. This is crucial work–it’s the work we’ve been doing for decades now and will be doing with all of our energy and resources long into the future.”

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Photo: Rafa Abuín

Iberá Park serves as a shining example of natural and cultural preservation, thanks to its successful rewilding and species reintroduction projects and how it has benefited local communities. Various ongoing species reintroduction projects have already succeeded in bringing back anteaters, Pampas deer, tapirs, and peccaries, and are also supporting the return of green-winged macaws and jaguars. In recent years, Iberá Park has even been the greatest contributor to the local economy, fostering development from ecotourism and benefiting nearby localities, from Pellegrini, Concepción, and San Miguel, to Loreto, Villa Olivari and many others. Ecotourists and adventure-seekers can witness this work and experience the park firsthand by staying at Tompkins Conservation’s Hostería Rincón del Socorro, located in the heart of Iberá Park.

Press Contact:

Marian Labourt, Tompkins Conservation Argentina

mjlabourt@gmail.com

Tel: 54-11-48073976

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The team celebrates the donation with an afternoon picnic. Photo: Rafa Abuín

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Photo: Marisi López

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Kristine Tompkins Accepts the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy

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On October 3rd, 2017, over 300 people gathered to celebrate the legacy of Andrew Carnegie, the “father of modern philanthropy,” and the nine esteemed Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy recipients. After processes into The New York Public Library’s Stephen A. Schwarzman Building behind tradition Scottish bagpipes, Vartan Gregorian, president of the Carnegie Corporation New York, introduced the medalists to the crowd.

“Indeed, the munificence of the Carnegie Medal recipients is not only remarkable, but awe-inspiring,” said Gregorian. “You are living examples of Andrew Carnegie’s philanthropic legacy and of those who have followed in his footsteps. You have all dedicated not only your personal wealth, but your reputations, your time, and your talents to causes of deep significance to you and to your communities: namely education, international peace, the environment, the arts, the protection of our democracy, and much, much more.”

Before the medals were presented, Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble took the stage to perform a selection of instrumental songs and dances. Master of ceremonies, Katty Kay from BBC World News America, came to the stage to introduce each medalist.

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Yo-Yo Ma and the Silkroad Ensemble. Photo: Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy

“Today,” said Kay, “philanthropy is being called upon to play an even greater national and international role — in fighting poverty and other global ills, in funding research and development on issues like climate change and nuclear nonproliferation, and in sustaining democracy at home and around the world. Helping the people and the causes that need it most must always be the priority. Our former, current, and future medalists are all keenly aware of this.”

After Gerry and Marguerite Lenfest and Sir James Wolfensohn accepted their medals, Tompkins Conservation leader Kristine Tompkins took the stage, focusing her statements on the satisfaction she finds through her conservation philanthropy. “Getting up every day and focusing on the things we love has brought new dimensions into our personal lives that we never thought imaginable.”

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Kristine Tompkins surrounded by friends and supporters at the medal ceremony. Photo: Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy

Kris was then followed by Azim Premji, Shelby White, Mei Hing Chak, Julian Robertson, and Jeff Skoll, who have all committed their philanthropic efforts to making the world a better place. Surprise guest Big Bird joined Sherrie Westin (Executive VP, Sesame Workshop) and Dr. Gregorian on stage to tell the crowd about his Yellow Feather Fund, which brings educational materials to children in need all around the world.

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Big Bird with Vartan Gregorian, President, Carnegie Corporation of New York and Sherrie Westin, Executive VP, Sesame Workshop. Photo: Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy

Kay concluded the ceremony with a quote from Andrew Carnegie himself: “Wealth is not to feed our egos, but to feed the hungry and to help people help themselves.”

From everyone at Tompkins Conservation, congratulations to all of the medalists!

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Tompkins Conservation Extends its National Park Creation Efforts to the Ocean, with Two New Marine National Parks Proposed in Argentina

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An image from Tompkins Conservation’s communications campaign highlighting one of the Argentine Sea’s residents, the sevengill shark. Photo: Alejo Irigoyen

The government of Argentina announced last week that it will create two new marine national parks in the Southern Atlantic. Tompkins Conservation is proud to play a part in this effort, lending its expertise in conservation activism to catalyze their creation. This is an important first step for Argentina to protect its oceans, and a first step for Tompkins Conservation in ocean conservation.

“With this initiative, we extend our national park creation work from terrestrial conservation to oceanic. Establishing an ambitious system of marine national parks (in other words, no-take marine protected areas) is a way for Argentina to show global leadership in how a society can support the legitimate aspirations of its people while also being a good neighbor to our nonhuman neighbors who live in the sea,” says Kris Tompkins, leader of Tompkins Conservation.

Read further for the full story.


Argentinean Government Announces Creation of Two Large Marine Protected Areas in the Southern Atlantic 

Government seeks to reach 10% coverage of Marine Protected Areas by 2020

Buenos Aires, September 26, 2017 – Vice chief of Cabinet of Ministers, Mario Quintana, announced today the Federal Government will send a bill to the National Congress for the creation of two large marine protected areas close to the Southern tip of Argentina in the Southern Atlantic. The decision of the Government is a conclusion of many months of official meetings, technical debates and difficult negotiations among authorities from several ministries. During the meeting in the Pink House (e.g. Argentinean house of government), Governmental officers showed publicly their gratefulness with the civil society organizations that advocated for marine protected areas. Tompkins Conservation was mentioned several times, as it supported strongly decision-making by the Federal Government on this issue and also undertook a communications campaign in order to raise public support for ocean conservation.

Argentina’s jurisdictional waters cover 36% of the area of the country. However, less than three percent is included in marine protected areas. The existing marine reserves are all coastal but just one (Namuncurá – Burdwood Marine Protected Area, established in 2013) protects deep waters. As a signatory country of the Convention on Biological Diversity, the nation should reach at least a 10% protection rate of its waters by 2020.

The Government of President Mr. Mauricio Macri took the first step towards the establishment of a network of Marine Protected Areas in federal waters by appointing the National Parks Administration as the authority of the National System of Marine Protected Areas on June 8, 2017 (World Oceans Day). Tompkins Conservation together with other NGOs had been advocating for that first decision.

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Kris Tompkins meets with President Mauricio Macri of Argentina, August 2017. Photo: Government of Argentina

After many years of research and assessment, scientists and NGOs in the Forum for the Conservation of the Patagonian Sea identified the relevant areas for the conservation of biodiversity in the Argentine Sea. Tompkins Conservation, as leader of the campaign “Sin Azul No Hay Verde” (following the famous slogan by Sylvia Earle; “No Blue – No Green”) celebrates the announcement by the Government. The campaign will focus now on increasing awareness by the congress representatives towards the urgent need to enact the National Law that will create these two new Marine Protected Areas.

The bill establishes that there will be two new marine protected areas: the “Yaganes” Marine National Park, Strict National Marine Reserve and National Marine Reserve (69,000 km2) and the “Namuncurá – Burdwood Bank II” Strict National Marine Reserve and National Marine Reserve (29,000 km2). Both marine parks will be placed on the Southern Patagonian sea.

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This new marine park has rare, fragile and slow recovery species, such as cold water corals. It is a site of aggregation of the Malvinas sprat, of great ecological importance in the whole region. It has relevance as a foraging area for species of seabirds threatened at the global and national scales. There are many species of marine mammals (including threatened species) that feed or move through the area.

Marine Protected Areas have become a global trend, used as one of the most effective tools to mitigate climate change by protecting the habitats and species responsible for carbon sequestration and storage at sea. They also create a shelter for ocean ecosystems and ensure a sustainable fishery economy and the conservation of species of great interest for coastal tourism.

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Staff Spotlight: Alicia Delgado, Wildlife Biologist at Iberá National Park

P1190830 Name: Alicia Delgado

 Role: Wildlife Biologist, CLT Argentina

 Year joined CLT: 2007

 Hometown: Mercedes, Argentina

 Main Area of Study: Anteater Reintroduction and Rehabilitation


Alicia Delgado (or Ali, as she is often called) was born in 1979 in Mercedes, near Iberá, and grew up on her family ranch. Since childhood she was influenced by her father who encouraged her curiosity about nature. These experiences sparked her interest in the natural world and prompted her to study Conservation Biology in Córdoba, where Alicia was attracted to applied work rather than to pure research. After finishing university studies she returned to Corrientes and soon had the opportunity to start working on an ambitious project that was just beginning—reintroducing the extirpated wildlife in Iberá. She knew she had found her place.

Once a part of the Conservation Land Trust team, Alicia began working for the pampas deer project in the Aguapey in 2007. Since then, she has conducted annual surveys that provide insight into the state of this rare deer in Corrientes, which inhabits private cattle estancias and forestry lands. During this task, Alicia and her assistants visit local ranches and talk with their owners and workers, to obtain and provide information about pampas deer ecology and conservation. Doing this work, which often involves days of traveling on dirt roads under the rain or heavy heat, is important for learning the status of the population, which serves as a source of animals to fund new populations inside Iberá Park.

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In addition to this role, since 2009 Alicia has been responsible for the anteater rescue center and quarantine in the Biological Station located at Corrientes. There she is responsible for hand-rearing the orphan anteaters arriving each year. Alicia’s maternal instinct and her experience as a mother of two girls, together with her great interest in conservation and animal welfare, have been key for a center that has managed more than 90 anteaters over ten years. Alicia also decides the right time for the anteaters to be taken to their final destination in the Socorro or San Alonso reserves, where they are left under supervision of the management and monitoring team in the field. Something that comforts and excites her is to know that most of the rescued animals, in many cases saved from a sure death, have the opportunity to be rehabilitated and live freely in their natural environment.

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The expertise that Alicia has acquired over the years makes her one of the most experienced conservation professionals in anteater management in South America. Along with these tasks, Alicia and her team are responsible for the care of other species that go through the quarantine facilities, including peccaries, tapirs, jaguars, and maned wolves. Upon returning home each evening, with an occasional scratch on her arms, Alice always has interesting stories to tell her daughters Isa and Ana, who share their mother’s affection for the animals from the Center.

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The First Wild Tapir is Born in Iberá

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Nena, a newly released tapir, and her new baby (June 2017). Rincon del Socorro, Iberá Park: Photo: Gerardo Cerón

Nena, a female tapir reintroduced to the region, has given birth to her first calf

After over half a century of absence from the region, tapirs are now beginning to reproduce in the wilds of Iberá. The tapir is the largest land mammal in South America and is classified as ‘endangered’ in Argentina. This peculiar animal has seen its population reduced to less than half of its original numbers over the past 100 years due to habitat destruction and hunting.

In order to reverse this trend, in 2016 the Conservation Land Trust (CLT) began a project focused on bringing this great mammal back to Iberá. CLT began this project by releasing tapirs from the Government of Salta’s Indigenous Wildlife Station and the University of Tucumán’s Horco Molle Experimental Reserve. As a result of these reintroduction efforts, the CLT rewilding team has confirmed the birth of the first wild calf to the newly restored tapir population.

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Photo: Gerardo Cerón

The newborn has been determined to be male and the son of Nena, a female that joined the tapir population founder group in Iberá from the Indigenous Wildlife Station of Salta this past March. With the arrival of this calf, there are now seven tapirs (2 males and 4 adult females, plus the small male) living in Rincón del Socorro, a natural reserve owned by CLT that will be donated to the Argentinian state in order to form part of Iberá National Park.

The birth of this calf signifies another step forward in the ambitious task of bringing back the many fauna that have disappeared from the Iberá region. This rewilding (or restoration of extinct species) program, the largest on the American continent, began in 2007 with the release of the program’s first giant anteaters. Created by Douglas and Kristine Tompkins through their nonprofit organization, the program has benefited from the active participation and support of the governments of Corrientes and Argentina, provincial authorities, dozens of public and private organizations, and many Argentinian and foreign individuals. Iberá’s rewilding program is further strengthened by the donation of CLT’s lands to create Iberá Park (which, at 700,000 hectares, will be the largest in Argentina) and the work of multiple institutions to promote Iberá as an ecotourism destination that serves as a source of employment and pride for the region’s inhabitants.

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Photo: Gerardo Cerón

In the words of Sebastián de Martino, coordinator of the CLT Fauna Restoration Program at Iberá, “The birth of this calf augments the births of other previously-extinct species in Iberá, such as the pampas deer, giant anteater and peccary. We want to thank our Tucuman and Salta colleagues, who donated the tapirs, for helping Corrientes bring back this key piece of its original fauna. We hope that this good news will soon be complemented by the birth of the region’s first jaguar cubs. This is an example of what can be achieved in our country when public and private entities collaborate on working towards a common goal.”

The Restoration of Iberá

The Iberá Natural Reserve, covering 1.3 million hectares of public and private lands, was created by the Corrientes government in 1983. Douglas and Kristine Tompkins were invited by the Argentinian national park management to visit Iberá in 1997. Enchanted by this impressive wilderness area, the Tompkinses began working in the region through their organization, CLT; eventually buying 150,000 hectares of private lands, with the aim of one day donating them to the Argentinian state.

Under the care of the foundation’s veterinarians and biologists, working in collaboration with the provincial reserve staff, the region’s wildlife recovered quickly and Iberá became a world-renowned tourist destination. Concurrently, the CLT-led wildlife restoration program has managed to establish two new populations of pampas deer and anteaters in the region, along with early nuclei of tapir, collared peccary and green-winged macaws. Additionally, the program became the first in the world to undergo the creation of a jaguar breeding project, aimed at reintroducing these large cats into areas where the species had been previously extirpated. All of these efforts were supported by the agreement reached, between CLT, the government of Corrientes and the current government of Argentina, to create the 700,000 hectare Iberá Park through the combination of Correntine fiscal lands and lands donated by CLT.

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Kristine McDivitt Tompkins Awarded the 2017 Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy

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New York, June 22, 2017Kristine McDivitt Tompkins, co-founder of Tompkins Conservation alongside her late husband Douglas Tompkins, has been awarded the 2017 Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy, bestowed by the Carnegie family of institutions. The medal seeks to inspire a culture of giving by recognizing outstanding philanthropists who reflect the values of Andrew Carnegie and his philosophy of giving—what he called the “business of benevolence.” The Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy was established in 2001 and is awarded every two years. The 22 Carnegie institutions in the United States and Europe nominate the medalists, and a selection committee representing seven of those institutions makes the final selection. The honorees are recognized as catalysts for good whose philanthropy has had a significant and lasting impact on a particular field, nation, or community of people.

Having amassed what was one of the greatest fortunes of his time, Carnegie, the legendary Scottish-American industrialist, decided to reinvent his fortune in society with the stated goal of doing “real and permanent good in the world.” His philosophy of giving was underpinned by the belief that with wealth comes responsibility. He believed that philanthropy’s main aim, as opposed to charity’s, was to address the causes of social ills rather than their manifestations. This belief is shared by the Tompkinses, whose work in conservation, rewilding, ecological agriculture and activism seeks to provide fundamental solutions, from carbon sequestration to healthy ecosystems to providing viable rural livelihoods.

“I am honored to be recognized by the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy on behalf of our team and in recognition of my husband, Douglas Tompkins, whose vision continues to be the backbone of our work,” says Tompkins. “I congratulate my fellow honorees and am proud to stand among them.  We all stand in the shadow of great philanthropists who came before us and I hope that I may live up to the ideals of those who believe it is critical to civil society that as individuals we live the ethic that the more we receive, the more we give.”

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From the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy:

“The Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy honorees, past and present, personify the ideals of Carnegie’s vision, seeking through their giving to create a world of positive change. They exercise the same wisdom, foresight, and passion in their philanthropic activities as they have in their highly successful professional endeavors. They are catalysts for good who are inspirations to others. They are models for the next generation of philanthropists.

“Ms. Tompkins, your passionate commitment to ecosystem restoration is astonishing in its scope and magnitude, a true testament to Andrew Carnegie’s belief that public parks should be placed “in the very front rank of benefactions.” Your conservation efforts are visionary and resonate beyond the boarders within which they are performed. We are proud to announce Ms. Tompkins as a 2017 CMoP honoree at this Thursday’s Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy Forum.”

The 2017 honorees are:

  • Mei Hing Chak China; Heung Kong Charitable Foundation
  • F. (Gerry) and Marguerite Lenfest U.S.A.; Lenfest Foundation
  • Azim Premji India; Azim Premji Foundation
  • Julian Robertson U.S.A.; Robertson Foundation
  • Jeff Skoll U.S.A.; Skoll Foundation
  • Kristine McDivitt Tompkins U.S.A.; Tompkins Conservation
  • Shelby White U.S.A., Leon Levy Foundation
  • Sir James d. Wolfensohn U.S.A. and Australia; Wolfensohn Center for Development

The Carnegie institutions will award the medals during a formal ceremony at The New York Public Library’s Stephen A. Schwarzman Building on October 3, 2017. The Carnegie Corporation of New York will host the private event. Katty Kay, anchor of BBC World News America, will serve as master of ceremonies.

For more information:

Carnegie Corporation of New York

Secretariat of the 2017 Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy

Communications Department

externalaffairs@carnegie.org

212.207.6273

www.medalofphilanthropy.org

Tompkins Conservation media contact:

Alison.kelman@tompkinsconservation.org, 415.229.9365

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Kristine Tompkins Receives Cynthia Pratt Laughlin Medal from the Garden Club of America

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Baltimore (May 6, 2017) – Tompkins Conservation leader Kristine McDivitt Tompkins has received one of the highest honors bestowed by The Garden Club of America (GCA), the Cynthia Pratt Laughlin Medal. The medal, presented to Kristine at the GCA’s annual meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, recognizes outstanding achievement in environmental protection and the maintenance of the quality of life.

In honoring Kristine, the GCA hailed her as “a woman of unparalleled vision, determination, resilience and generosity” and “one of the most important wilderness protectors of our day whose work and intellect influence the global conservation field.”

On March 15, 2017, Kristine and Chilean President Michelle Bachelet signed a pledge to dramatically expand national parklands in Chile by approximately 10 million acres. When fully executed the agreement will create five new national parks – including two crown jewels of Tompkins Conservation’s park creation work, Pumalín Park and Patagonia Park, and the one million acres and world-class infrastructure they contain – and expand three others. The proposal includes the largest land donation in history from a private entity to a country; the total area to be protected, via this private land donation plus government land, is three times the size of Yosemite and Yellowstone National Parks combined.

“Kristine is an adventurer whose experiences in wild places led to a commitment to protect the wilderness that remains and to encourage future generations to experience wild nature,” said the GCA in honoring her. “Over the past 20 years, she has accomplished more than many nations in establishing a network of new parks, expanding existing ones and linking them into wildlife corridors. She has promoted sustainable agriculture and the creation of employment opportunities within and around the parks to help the local population and to gain local support for the parks. She stayed true to her vision of saving wild nature from extinction.”

Cynthia Pratt Laughlin (1910-85), a member of Southampton Garden Club in New York, endowed this medal in 1979. Noted Delaware sculptor Charles Cropper Parks designed the medal, and previous recipients include former president of The Nature Conservancy Patrick F. Noonan (1984), The Outdoor Circle, the leading organization protecting the beauty of Hawai’i (1985), writer, environmental activist and farmer Wendell E. Berry (2008), the U.S. Green Building Council (2009) and The Pollinator Partnership (2011).

Kristine was nominated for the award by Corbin Harwood, member of the Garden Club of Chevy Chase, Maryland.

The GCA is a nonprofit national organization composed of 200 clubs with nearly 18,000 members who devote energy and expertise to projects in their communities and across the United States. Founded in 1913, the GCA is a leader in horticulture, conservation and civic improvement. (www.gcamerica.org)

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