Victory Against HidroAysén: Dam Project is Cancelled

Rio Baker at confluence Rio Nef

Photo: Beth Wald

June 12, 2014–After years of campaigning, negotiating, and hard work, the threat of the HidroAysén dams has finally been laid to rest. Thanks to a unanimous vote this week by Chile’s Committee of Ministers, the environmental permits for the project were overturned, effectively cancelling the project. After many years, we breathe a sigh of relief that our local Baker and Pascua rivers will remain free.

From the beginning, we joined Chileans from across the country in some of the most powerful grass root organizing the world has ever seen. Starting in our neighboring town of Cochrane, Patagonia Sin Represas sprung quickly to major cities, fueling large demonstrations and garnering international attention. Filmmakers, writers and photographers came to Chile to tell our story and join the fight. Friends from international organizations have generously focused their efforts for years to protect our remote corner of the world. The Patagonia Sin Represas campaign has undoubtedly laid the groundwork for successful future national and international environmental campaigns alike. It is with great pride and gratitude that we close this chapter in Chile’s environmental history.


Photo: Nadine Lehner

Two of the wildest rivers left in the world, the Baker and Pascua exemplify the wild and bio-diverse terrain of iconic Patagonia. If you have ever had the pleasure of paddling their blue waters, hiking their pristine banks, or merely admired a photograph of the surrounding glimmering ice fields, you no doubt have already seen for yourself the importance of their protection.

Before President Michelle Bachelet was elected, she condemned the dams as not viable. We are proud and uplifted to see the president stand by her word. We will undoubtedly face this same battle for even larger dams already proposed in Patagonia, but we have shown the country and the world that we are watching and listening.

Please join us in celebration of this historic and well-earned victory!


Kris Tompkins

Founder and President

Conservacion Patagonica

6 thoughts on “Victory Against HidroAysén: Dam Project is Cancelled

  1. 13200 Ayla Rd
    Friday June 13th, 2014 at 05:12 AM

    Me DA muchisimo gusto LA noticia, admiro su trabajo y habilidad. Yo por mi parte comunicare a mis amigos en face book para concientisarlos. Quiero ayudar aunque sea con poquito, quisiera poder ir en persona pero Dips direa despues. Suerte y que Dips Los siga ayudando

  2. Alan Reilly Jr
    Friday July 4th, 2014 at 09:07 PM

    “Only when the last fish is gone, the last tree is felled, and the last river is poisoned will we realize we cannot eat money. ”

    Congratulations, and gratitude, to the Tompkins, the gauchos, and everyone else who helped win this fight.

    1. Uwe Brinkmann, Germany
      Thursday September 11th, 2014 at 10:41 AM

      As a Patagonia visitor:
      This is a great message! Showing that admiring nature´s beauty can be combined with intellectual reasoning to convince people of influence: to protect what has been left unspoiled until now. I hope this will be an important step ahead to change widely minds of those “players” in politics and economy who actually control mankind´s way into future. Furthermore, “reconquista” could be named today the attempts to renaturalize areas, as performed in the Patagonia National Park project, to coin those efforts.

  3. Jenna Blackwood
    Monday July 28th, 2014 at 02:43 AM

    An amazing accomplishment congratulations to every single person involved in this fight. You came together and conquered; saving the land that you love.

  4. Nina Knatz
    Sunday August 3rd, 2014 at 01:20 AM

    A most sincere and heartfelt thank you for your undying efforts to preserve this breathtaking place. I hope that I am one day able to visit and experience it’s beauty in person.

  5. Sara Sande y Luis Di Criscio
    Tuesday September 2nd, 2014 at 11:42 PM

    Dear Mentors;
    Thank you from all the humanity for this. This ecosistem need to be protected.

    Congratulations Chile!!

    We now want the creation of the National Park to be true!

    Sara and Louis

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