Success! Grantees and advisors in Chile celebrate the defeat of a megadam...
 
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JuLY 2014   

 

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Patagonia-river.jpgChileans won a huge victory in June to protect Patagonia's rivers, wildlife, and people. Read the story below and here.
Photo: Geoff Livingston / CC BY-SA 2.0
 
  Dear Friend,

Whether you are working for a sustainable future, striving to raise healthy kids, or contributing in another way as part of the Global Greengrants community, there are moments when you take a step back and reflect, “Wow, this is what it’s all about.”

I was so proud when I learned about the monumental victory Chilean environmentalists won in Patagonia last month. Read my blog about it here.

For the past eight years, Chileans have been fighting against a plan by an Italian-Chilean energy conglomerate to build five dams in the Aysén region of Patagonia.

Rio-Baker_Jeff-Foott.jpgThe Baker River, Patagonia.
Photo: Jeff Foott / iLCP

With jagged mountains and verdant valleys, Patagonia is home to people and diverse species, many of which are endangered.

The massive hydroelectric project, HidroAysén, would have flooded 15,000 acres of ranches and natural reserves and required building 1,200 miles of electric lines to transport the energy through private land and pristine, protected areas to the copper mines in the North.

Initially, most of the public was in favor of the plan. And so the environmentalists began the long, slow work of transforming the public mind.

Many, many organizations were involved: local, national, and international. Global Greengrants is proud to have played an important role. Over the past eight years, we gave more than $700,000 to Chilean organizations working on the issue.

Last month, the government scrapped the project. This is the biggest environmental victory Chile has ever seen. One of our grantees, Peter Hartmann, director of Aisén Filial of the Comité Nacional Pro Defensa de La Fauna y Flora, says HidroAysén’s defeat has transformed the Chilean environmental movement.

“Global Greengrants funded small, local groups that were important to the campaign,” Hartmann told us. “And some of the larger organizations hit hard by the financial crisis turned to Global Greengrants to save them. Global Greengrants was a lifesaver that helped keep them and the campaign afloat.” Read the full Q&A.

So please, take a moment to reflect with me. This is what it’s all about. Thank you for partnering with Global Greengrants and the people of Patagonia to create a sustainable future.

Sincerely,

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Terry Odendahl,
Executive Director & CEO

Global Greengrants
 
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