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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STATEMENT FROM TOMPKINS CONSERVATION REGARDING THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION’S ANNOUNCEMENT ON THE PARIS CLIMATE ACCORD

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Photo: Justin Lotak

The people of Tompkins Conservation, who are working in three countries on two continents, are appalled by the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw U.S. participation in the Paris agreement. While insufficient to address the climate crisis, the Paris accord is a useful first step toward bolder, binding action that moves human society toward a low-carbon energy future.

Beyond the richly deserved condemnation from around the world, the Trump administration’s action deserves to be analyzed, ridiculed, and contrasted with the leadership shown by other national governments around the globe. In Chile and Argentina, where our national park creation and rewilding efforts are helping build resiliency to climate change, Presidents Michelle Bachelet and Mauricio Macri, respectively, have articulated their strong commitment to the growing international movement to address climate change.

More important than words, however, the Bachelet and Macri governments have taken decisive action in recent months to expand protected areas that sustain vital wildlife habitat and sequester carbon. Both of these leaders have explicitly drawn the connection between habitat conservation and their nations’ commitments to mitigate climate change, understanding that the crucial task of transitioning toward a clean energy economy is only part of confronting the climate crisis.

At Tompkins Conservation, we believe that the willful ignorance of some political leaders can and will be trumped by the concerted actions of individuals, governments, and nongovernmental organizations across the planet who are working for a durable future—for all life on Earth. We are more committed than ever to use our energy, expertise, and resources to advance hopeful, durable projects that protect wild nature, benefit human communities, and help minimize climate chaos. With every hectare protected and species recovery effort implemented, we are acting with our hearts and hands to create a world with adequate habitat for all and a stable climate that supports flourishing natural and human communities.

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Staff Spotlight: Ignacio Jiménez Pérez, CLT Conservation Director

_CJR6869Name: Ignacio Jiménez Pérez

Role: Conservation Director, CLT Argentina

Year joined CLT: 2005

Hometown: Valencia, Spain

Main area of study: “Institutional Ecology,” which studies how organizational arrangements can make conservation more effective

Ignacio came to CLT Argentina over ten years ago with a wealth of knowledge and experience in the field of wildlife conservation. Beginning his career with a degree in Animal Biology from the Universidad de Valencia in Spain, and a Masters in Wildlife Management and Conservation from the Universidad Nacional in Costa Rica, Ignacio has gained decades of field research and management experience from around the world. From the study and management of manatees in Costa Rica and Nicaragua to the assessment of endangered species protection in Spain, Ignacio’s work to research, manage and restore wildlife has put him at the top of his field. Also a professor, Ignacio has taught well over 20 courses in Spain, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Argentina, and Chile about interdisciplinary issues related to conservation. His research and conservation efforts have been featured in various scientific journals, books, and other publications.

Beginning in 2005, Ignacio’s work with CLT initially focused on endangered species recovery in the Iberá wetlands, which is home to species such as the giant anteater, pampas deer, and jaguar. Now taking on a more communications-based role, Ignacio is still the leading authority on rewilding in the Iberá region. We had the chance to ask Ignacio a few key questions about his path to CLT and what inspires him in his work today. Below is our conversation:

Q: How did you first get involved with The Conservation Land Trust?

A: I was travelling with my Argentinean girlfriend (now my wife and mother of two beautiful, wild daughters) through Pumalín in January 2005. I had just moved to Argentina from Costa Rica and was looking for some exciting conservation work to do. While I was at the cozy café at Caleta Gonzalo I was wondering, what is this organization that is trying to manage a private reserve as a top-notch national park? Then I saw the book about the 10 first years of CLT. Going through the pages I discovered that they had a project in a place called Iberá in Argentina, which sounded slightly familiar to me. Then I saw that they were planning on reintroducing six species of mammals. I knew that nobody had tried something like that in South America before, and I thought, “these guys are crazy!” And then, “if someone can do this, maybe it’s them.” A few months later I got in contact with Sofía Heinonen, who was just starting a conservation team and looking for someone with experience in endangered species recovery. The rest, as they say, is history!

Q: Can you please explain a bit about your role at CLT Argentina?

A: From 2005 to 2015 I was in charge of coordinating our rewilding program aimed at reintroducing locally extirpated species. By 2015 it was obvious that my role was getting too broad, because I had to manage a growing team of professionals who were actually in charge if the animals, getting all the permits from authorities, which is one of the toughest jobs in conservation, and also managing communication, fundraising, and training. It was just too much. With Sofía, our Director in Argentina, we decided to split the job and look for a person who would be mostly focused on the actual rewilding, while I would focus more on strategic communication and institutional issues for all of CLT Argentina.

Q: What does rewilding mean to you?

A: It means working hard to get things better in the natural world, not only avoiding that they get worse. It’s something proactive and inspiring, instead of just being reactive and “on the defensive.” Through rewilding we can really improve the state of the natural ecosystems that we are entrusted to care for, and also inspire people to support conservation!

Q: Can you explain a bit about Iberá’s jaguar reintroduction program? What are the program’s goals for 2017?

A: The jaguar program in Iberá is the apex of the Iberá Rewilding Program, both because it is the most difficult species to work with (you don’t want to work with an animal that it’s either hated/feared or loved, with no space in between!) and because it implies bringing back one the most important pieces of the whole ecosystem (i.e. it’s a top predator; like the “dome” of this “natural cathedral” that is the Iberá landscape). In the end we were surprised by the high level of support of the local population, because they see jaguars as a “vanished distant relative” since many local gauchos compare themselves with jaguars, as part of their cultural and natural heritage.

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Naguel and Tobuna, Iberá Park’s first two jaguars to the Jaguar Breeding Center. Photo: CLT Argentina

Q: You were recently working in South Africa. Can you explain a bit about what you were doing there?

A: I went to South Africa both for a family experience and for a professional goal. At the family level it was a great opportunity for my daughters (8 and 9 years old) to live in another culture, improve their English and enjoy amazing wildlife and landscapes. For the family as a whole, it was extremely satisfying. At the professional level, through my job in rewilding in Iberá (and my personal interest in organizational issues) I came to discover that Southern Africa, as a region, was decades ahead of the rest of the world regarding the restoration of extirpated populations of large animals. Knowing this, I couldn’t help but travel there to learn and bring that practical knowledge to South America!

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Ignacio with Carito (one of CLT wildlife veterinarians) during a visit to a rhino conservation project in South Africa. Photo: Ignacio Jiménez Pérez

Q: What does Iberá becoming a National Park mean for the park’s rewilding initiatives?

A: The Iberá Program was the result of Dougs and Kris’ vision from the beginning, and this was very clear: making a vast national park that could stand the test of time and bring back the missing ecological pieces (i.e. extirpated fauna). Without the park and its long-term legal protection, there would be no rewilding, because there would be no protected habitat for the reintroduced giant anteaters, pampas deer, tapirs, jaguars, etc.

The project that inspires me the most nowadays, is a book that we are finishing that combines more than two decades of personal experience managing, visiting, studying and learning from conservation programs in four continents. In CLT Argentina we privately call this book “The Manual,” since it combines most of the experience gained in 25 years of Tompkins Conservation with what we have learned working in and visiting other conservation programs. We believe that we have been able to develop a ground-proofed method to create and manage protected areas and rewild large areas of the planet.

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Watching mountain gorillas in Rwanda. Photo: Ignacio Jiménez Pérez

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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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On Sale for a Limited Time: Parklands Book Series

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On behalf of Conservacion Patagonica and the Conservation Land Trust, the Tompkins Conservation publishing team is producing an ongoing series of large, photo-format books on parks and conservation philanthropy. Previously published volumes include Wildlands Philanthropy, Corcovado National Park, Monte León National Park, Perito Moreno National Park, Yendegaia National Park, and Esteros del Iberá. In development as of 2017 are volumes on Pumalín Park and Chile’s future Patagonia National Park. The series is intended to increase awareness of conservation history, to celebrate the key people who established parks and protected wildlife, and to support nongovernmental organizations working for land and wildlife conservation, primarily in Argentina and Chile. These countries have a rich, century-long history of park creation, and various volumes in the parklands series will share with the world the fine conservation examples that Argentina and Chile have already protected—or might someday safeguard—in their national park systems.

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Yendegaia National Park


In honor of the recent pledge by Tompkins Conservation and the government of Chile to create 10 million acres of new national parklands, publishing partner Goff Books is offering the Parklands Books at 50% for a limited time, or purchase the entire series of five books for $125


Since releasing its first title, Clearcut: The Tragedy of Industrial Forestry (with Sierra Club Books) in 1993, the Tompkins Conservation publishing program has conceived, produced, and funded more than 25 books on conservation topics, anchored by a series of large-format volumes. Following in a tradition pioneered by conservationist David Brower who used exhibit format books to support the Sierra Club’s advocacy work in the 1960s, the Tompkins Conservation staff and colleagues have modernized the genre, producing award-winning books to inspire and educate activists.

We are pleased to share this special offer in conjunction with the biggest announcement in our organization’s history. Thank you for celebrating the protection of wild places.


CORCOVADO Cover

Corcovado National Park Original price $75, Sale price $37.50

In Corcovado National Park, renowned landscape photographer Antonio Vizcaíno captures the beauty and diversity of a magical setting almost untouched by modern humans. With a foreword by President Lagos and essays by other principals in the park’s creation, Corcovado National Park explores the natural wonders of an extraordinary place and tells the stories of the conservationists who made certain it would remain a bastion of wild nature held in trust by the Chilean people for future generations.

MONTE LEON Cover 2Monté Leon National Park Original price $75, Sale price $37.50

Endless sky, rock, and water: Where the arid grasslands of southern Argentina meet the Atlantic Ocean, the wild winds and waters of Patagonia have sculpted a magical landscape. This wonderland is Monte León National Park. Established in 2002 through public–private collaboration, the park’s creation was prompted by a gift from Kristine Tompkins, the former CEO of the clothing company named for this legendary region at the bottom of the Earth.

Screen ShotPerito Moreno National Park Original price $150, Sale price $75

In a region so alluring that is has become synonymous with beauty at the end of the Earth, Perito Moreno National Park is an icon of Patagonia. Named in honor of revered early conservationist Perito Moreno, the “John Muir of Argentina,” this relatively little visited park is a magnet for intrepid travelers and ambitious alpinists. This book presents a stunning collection of images of the park by renowned landscape photographer Antonio Vizcaíno with supporting essays from experts on the park’s natural and cultural history, this elegant volume offers an armchair tour of one of the world’s most scenic and unsullied landscapes.

140910 YDG Dust Cover ENGLISH-1 croppedYendegaia National Park Original price $150, Sale price $75

Yendegaia National Park offers a visually spectacular tour of one of Earth’s most remote and scenic national parks. In Chilean Patagonia on the grand island of Tierra del Fuego, the new park—designated in 2014—was prompted by a donation of private land to the Chilean park system. When combined with adjacent federal land, the new protected area covers some 372,000 acres, and forms a habitat linkage between existing national parks in Chile and Argentina. Thus the new Yendegaia National Park has helped establish one of the planet’s most significant transboundary protected areas, or “peace parks.”

PrintEsteros del Iberá Original price $150, Sale price $75

A wonderland of sky, water, grass, and birdsong, the Iberá marshlands of Corrientes Province are the preeminent wildlife habitat in Argentina and a globally important natural treasure. A native son of Corrientes, world-class nature photographer Juan Ramón Díaz Colodrero, his dazzling images put the reader into the heart of the Iberá’s life-affirming beauty. Supporting essays by leading regional conservationists and other experts illuminate the Iberá’s diverse natural communities and distinctive human culture. While the area is remarkably unspoiled, innovative conservation projects are augmenting wildlife populations and returning missing native species—such as the giant anteater and the jaguar—to their rightful homes in the landscape of shining waters.


To purchase all five books for $125, please email sales@oroeditions.com and provide your name and telephone number (postage charged separately).


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