One of the world’s last regions with vast stretches of untouched nature, Patagonia, at the lower tip of South America, is host to an extraordinary geography of endless mountains, immense ice glaciers, snowcapped volcanoes, pristine temperate rainforests, and hundreds of clear, blue-green rivers and lakes. Scientists say the Chilean side of the Patagonian Andes – which is more verdant because of more rainfall than the drier steppe areas that predominate to the east in Argentina – is one of six "hot spots" on the planet with the greatest biodiversity, greatest number of undiscovered species, and greatest human threats to that diversity.

In December 2021, Patagon Journal celebrated 10 years of publishing its magazine. As such, we thought this would be a good time to evaluate the challenges facing Patagonia’s environment over the rest of this decade. To this end, we consulted with diverse environmental leaders, scientists, and journalists from Argentina, Chile, and around the globe, and in the current issue of our magazine we outline an environmental agenda for the next 10 years. The following special web series are excerpts from some of the interviews we did to prepare that article. 


 
Interview with sustainable tourism expert Jorge Moller
Jorge Moller is a sustainable tourism expert who has worked in the ecotourism sector since 1985. For some 30 years he was at the helm of travel companies based in southern Chile such as Darwin Trails, Eco Travel and Altue Expeditions. Since 2015, he has been the director of Regenera, a non-profit that provides consultancy services to governments, communities and businesses across Latin America on sustainable tourism planning and business development. He is also currently the Latin America program director for the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC). Read more..
  
 
 
 
Interview with environmentalist Lucas Chiappe
Lucas Chiappe is an Argentine photographer, author, publisher, farmer and environmentalist who has lived in El Bolsón since 1976. He has been active since the 1980’s on environmental issues in Argentine Patagonia, organizing to stop hydroelectric dams, nuclear waste dumps, and rampant deforestation in the region, among other issues. That activism eventually led him to found in 1990 the conservation group Project Lemu. His award-winning work has also included helping to establish the first provincial park in northwestern Chubut. Read more..
 
 
 
 

 
Interview with scientist Juan Armesto
Juan Armesto has a doctorate in botany and plant physiology from Rutgers University in the U.S. and has been a longtime ecology professor at Chile's Catholic University. Armesto is also a co-founder of the Instituto de Ecología y Biodiversidad (Ecology and Biodiversity Institute) and president of the Estación Biológica Senda Darwin, which does scientifc research on Chiloe Island. Last year, Armesto was the recipient of the prestigious Robert H. Whittaker Distinguished Ecologist Award from the Ecological Society of America and was also appointed an international member of the United States Academy of Sciences. Read more..
 
 
 

 
Interview with journalist Patricio Segura
Patricio Segura is a journalist who lives near Puerto Guadal and Lake General Carrera in the Aysén region. He is the current treasurer of the Corporación Privada para el Desarrollo de Aysén, in charge of communications for the Aysen Reserve of Life coalition, and was a key part of the communications team for the Patagonia without Dams campaign. A long-time contributor to Patagon Journal, he has published articles and columns in a variety of national and international media, including Science MagazineNatureCIPEREl MostradorLe Monde Diplomatique, and El DivisaderoRead more..
 
 
 
 

Interview with activist Gabriela Simonetti
Gabriela Simonetti is executive director of Kauyeken, an environmental group she founded and has directed since 2013 that focuses primarily on Chile's Magallanes region. She is also one of the key leaders of Alerta Isla Risco, a citizen’s campaign that — after 12 years of unstoppable activism – recently successfully halted a large-scale, open pit coal minining project on Riesco Island off the coast of southern Patagonia. Moreover, in 2020, Simonetti founded a regional climate change network Sociedad Civil por Acción Climática Magallanes. Read more..
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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