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Patagonia’s Rio Baker – What Will Be Lost

Patagonia’s Rio Baker – What Will Be Lost

By Enviro editor   |   Apr 29, 2010 April 29, 2010

BELTRA_0001 On the heels of our latest (and final) update from the Rios Libres team, we have this information from our friends at the International League of Conservation Photographers who are working hard to fight dams on the Rio Baker in Chile. Understanding the importance of images in environmental debates, the League of Conservation Photographers use their time and expertise to, as their mission states, “bring conservation into focus.”

[Aysen, Chile. February 17th 2010. The confluence of rivers Baker and Nef where one of the big dams for Hidroaysen is projected. Photo: ©Daniel Beltra]

Noel Vidal, a quiet man from the small coastal village of Caleta Tortel,near the mouth of the Rio Baker in Chile, sums it up best  “Las presas son el principio del fin para Patagonia.” – “The dams are the beginning of the end for Patagonia.”

Enel, a multinational company, plans to build 5 massive dams on two of Chile’s most pristine rivers – the Rio Baker and the Rio Pascua. The dams will flood 11,000 acres of wild land, displace families, and bring 1200 miles of 200 foot high transmission lines to the wild south.  These dams will provoke a development rush in Patagonia, stripping the region of its wild character.

The International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP) iLCP in partnership with The Patagonian Foundation (TPF) and support from Patagonia,Inc. dispatched a team of renowned photographers and photo activists (Daniel Beltra, Jack Dykinga, Jeff Foott, Bridget Besaw, and Ruth Cohen) to document the landscapes, wildlife, and cultures of the Aysen Region as part of a RAVE or Rapid Assessment Visual Expedition to aid the ongoing campaign against the proposed dams.

Visit their website and the Sin Represas website at http://www.patagoniasinrepresas.cl/final/indexeng.php to learn more about the issue.

DYKINGA_1594
Rio el Salto flowing into Rio Baker. Copyright © Jack Dykinga, all rights reserved

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