10 YEARS OF CONSERVATION KARUKINKA
An Innovative Partnership
At the southernmost tip of the Americas sits one of the world's richest, most ecologically diverse lands. Karukinka Natural Park is home to over 100 native species inhabiting its mountains, wetlands and old-growth forests. And it is being protected by a public-private partnership between Goldman Sachs and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) that is setting a new standard for conservation worldwide.
Goldman Sachs' involvement began when the firm acquired 680,000 acres of beautiful wilderness in Tierra del Fuego, Chile. Recognizing a unique opportunity to preserve an important part of the world's biodiversity, Goldman Sachs partnered with WCS to ensure that Karukinka remains protected in perpetuity.
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The park spans 735,522 acres across the southern edge of Patagonia on the archipelago of Tierra del Fuego - a land visited by both Magellan and Darwin. It includes the world's southernmost old-growth forest, a complex of wetland systems, peat bogs, mountains, alpine meadows and more.
Together, Goldman Sachs and WCS have partnered to protect the land in perpetuity, creating an innovative model for conservation at the global and local levels.
This model encourages the cooperation of local communities and incorporates their needs.
WCS works to foster ecotourism, coordinates research projects and hosts visitors - including schoolchildren from Tierra del Fuego and throughout Chile - at Karukinka. Across the broader Patagonian region, WCS works to ensure that local peat mining and fisheries are sustainably managed.
Goldman Sachs' partner in Karukinka is the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). Founded in 1895, the group works to save wildlife and wild places across the globe. Its work in Karukinka is an important part of the larger effort to protect Patagonia.
As the owner and manager of the park, WCS has worked with the Chilean government and other groups to coordinate efforts to study, protect and preserve the land.
Karukinka's 735,522 acres represent one of the world's largest land gifts to conservation. After acquiring land in Tierra del Fuego in 2002, Goldman Sachs conducted an in-depth analysis of the territory and realized that it represented a unique opportunity to preserve a rich part of the planet's biodiversity. The firm began a search for an organization that could help make this opportunity a reality.
Goldman Sachs has long believed in the importance of a healthy global environment to the world's economies and communities. The Karukinka partnership is just one of the ways the firm promotes sustainability.
Through its Environmental Markets Group, Goldman Sachs works to identify and create market-based solutions to address climate change, ecosystem degradation and other critical environmental issues. And across all of its offices, it has worked to reduce its environmental footprint and promote environmental stewardship.
"We realized we could create value by turning this land into a park for the benefit of the people of Chile and the world."
- Lloyd Blankfein, Senior Chairman, Goldman Sachs
a catalyst for
Karukinka's open model for conservation has sparked further efforts by the Chilean government and other groups to protect and study Tierra del Fuego's ecosystems.
The Karukinka Fellowship
With support from Goldman Sachs, this program identifies and funds priority research projects by graduate students.
Restoring the Patagonian Forests
In partnership with Argentina, Chile has undertaken a large-scale project to eradicate the forests' invasive species.
Karukinka Marine Program
This WCS program is working to protect the elephant seal, the South American river otter, and other bird and mammal species on the Chilean coast.
Eliminating Salmon Farming
Supported by WCS research, the Chilean government has banned pollution-producing salmon farms from the waters surrounding Tierra del Fuego.
Research from WCS and other organizations has helped set conservation objectives and design tools and approaches to preserve the region's animals and ecosystems.
Artist residencies, hiking and biking trails and other ecotourism programs have made the preserve a destination for people from all walks of life.
The land has presented a unique learning environment for local and international students, from elementary school through post-graduate programs.
Scientists and graduate students from around the world come to Karukinka to study the park's native species and find new ways to protect the land.
"From its inception, partnership was at the heart of Karukinka's story, and partnership is core to WCS's conservation success."
- Cristián Samper, President and CEO of the Wildlife Conservation Society
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