Patagonia’s rivers and surrounding old-growth forests are under attack and KEEN Ambassadors Chris Kassan and James Martin are fighting back to help protect these wild lands and the people who depend on them.
The Rios Libres project was born in July of 2009 in response to a dam proposal that was threatening rivers in Patagonia. This prompted Chris and James to ask the question, “What can we do about it?”
The result was Rios Libres. Now almost three years later, the project needs just as much support as ever:
… despite our best efforts and those of our partners, Patagonia’s rivers are still under attack. The environmental review process for these dams has been plagued with corruption and the full impacts of the project – particularly the 1,300-mile long transmission line needed to transport the energy – are still unknown.
In May 2011, the government approved the dams. Tens of thousands of Chileans took to the streets in opposition and six weeks later, the court halted all construction due to a pending appeal. This was the first time a Chilean authority challenged the project. It was clear that the fight to protect Chile’s pristine rivers, wildlands and tranquil way of life was not over.
At this point, we knew we had to go back. We couldn’t sit by as a battle brewed in the heart of this pristine land – a place we had grown to love…
So, this April, Q traveled south once again. His mission: to enter a situation that was volatile and in a state of constant flux to gather current, first- hand information so we could give voice to the Chilean people and illuminate what a new energy paradigm looks like in Chile.
Chris has a hope that Chile will choose to act as a world leader and embrace its potential for a future powered by alternative energy. Here’s what you can expect to see in the immediate future:
Over the next few months, we will release a series of short powerful and educational videos that will show what we discovered on our latest excursion. These will further illuminate the issues facing Chile and will show what an alternative energy options looks like for Chile. We hope that our words and imagery will entertain, educate and inspire people to act.
Help Rios Libres keep the rivers wild and free. Please check out the update from Chris for more information on “Rios Libres Back in Action.“