The Patagonia Campaign aims to support the Chilean people’s fight against plans to dam two of Chile’s most powerful and pristine rivers, the Baker and Pascua Rivers. Electricity from these dams would be sent thousands of kilometers north to serve Chile’s biggest cities and its mammoth copper industry. The transmission lines for that electricity would require one of the world’s longest clearcuts–much of it through untouched temperate rainforests of a type found nowhere else on the planet outside Patagonia. (Click here for more details about the rivers, dam plans and transmission lines.)
International Rivers wants the world to know Patagonia’s rivers—and to keep them wild—unlike the huge companies that want to dam them. So, with much help from our passionate Chilean friends who have been fighting dams in their home country for many years, we have launched new pressure tactics against the companies involved in the proposed dams.
Recently we organized an expedition to walk alongside the Pascua and know first-hand what’s at stake for this river, and the life that depends on it. We hope you’ll read the full story of what we found. The Pascua is one of the most pristine and unknown rivers on the planet. It is a rip-roaring, roller-coaster of a river with rugged, impassable canyons and unsurvivable Class 6+ whitewater.
To keep the Pascua wild is just one of the many reasons we oppose plans to dam the Baker and Pascua rivers. You can begin to learn more by watching our 3-minute slide show. The dams would displace families, disrupt livelihoods and spoil tourism that brings local income. Transmission lines and reservoirs would destroy temperate rainforests unique to Patagonia. The transmission lines would divide many Chilean communities and several national parks. Victims of these dams would include critically endangered species such as the huemul deer, a Chilean national symbol.