Patagonia Wins Battle to Stop Mega-Dam Building Project – Chileans informed by early International League of Conservation Photographers Rapid Assessment Visual Expedition (RAVE)

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Rio Baker at confluence with Rio Nef by Jack Dykinga

In 2014, the Chilean Senate voted to halt the mega-dam construction project by HydroAisén.  The Patagonian Foundation, The Baum Foundation and the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP) teamed up early on to conduct a Rapid Assessment Visual Expedition (RAVE) to provide Chileans with a visual story of what would be lost in Patagonia should the five dam project be completed that would have included an electrical transformer line cutting through 1,500 miles of countryside between 64 communities in 14 protected areas throughout the country.

The iLCP photographers Jack Dykinga, Daniel Beltra, Bridget Besaw and filmmakers Edgar and Elisabeth Boyles trekked for three weeks over the treasured Patagonian river territory to photo document the areas where significant ecological harm would have occurred on both the Baker and Pasuca rivers located in Patagonia, Chile. Starting in 2010, leading the conservation effort, the iLCP connected with artists and The Baum Foundation to help expose the raw and untouched beauty of these pristine Patagonian rivers for the world to see in order to gain support for stopping the mega-dam project.  Other international NGO’s joined in on the effort using the series of photos, videos, and media coverage created with the help and support of The Baum Foundation.

The RAVE’s effort was an early tool for the larger ongoing campaign of the Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC) and many Chilean institutions for over four years leading to the European companies backing the dam project to ultimately decide to divest their funding for the projected dam construction that was announced in June of 2014.

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