Chile Marks One Year Since Torres del Paine Fire
The end of 2011 saw a huge fire devastate the Torres del Paine National Park. In order to replant trees lost in the fire, the Reforestemos Patagonia program is using unique ways to try to plant 1 million trees in Patagonia.
TORRES DEL PAINE — The huge fires closed off the park for most of January and led to chaos in Patagonia.
The Reforestemos Patagonia program was born with the idea to plant one million trees and has used several ideas to captivate the public in both Chile and other countries to give a tree to the cause. People can easily purchase a tree online for CLP$2,000 (US$4) from the Reforestemos Patagonia website.
Among the events in support of the campaign, I Love Chile was on the scene for the first ever Patagonian International Marathon. The race course wound its way through some of the most heavily affected areas within the Torres del Paine National Park.
I Love Chile was once again on the scene for the first ever Reforestón. This event was streamed around the world, with live music and celebrities encouraging viewers to reach a target of 25,000 trees.
More than 150,000 trees have been donated from over 40 countries. LAN are the biggest contributor with a total of 20,000 trees, while retail chain Falabella have donated 15,000. In order to reach the target of 1 million, the campaign has even bigger events planned for the coming year, including a music festival with international and local acts.
Park rangers have clamped down on security in Torres del Paine National Park, with people camping illegally facing the risk of ejection from the park and prosecution. Israeli tourist Rotem Zinger was charged with starting the fire, while this summer 11 Israeli tourists have been removed from the park.
The reforestation campaign is the biggest to ever be undertaken in Chile.