Search

10 YEARS OF CONSERVATION KARUKINKA

An Innovative Partnership
for conservation

At the southernmost tip of the Americas sits one of the world's richest, most ecologically diverse lands. Karukinka Natural Park is home to over 100 native species inhabiting its mountains, wetlands and old-growth forests. And it is being protected by a public-private partnership between Goldman Sachs and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) that is setting a new standard for conservation worldwide.

Goldman Sachs' involvement began when the firm acquired 680,000 acres of beautiful wilderness in Tierra del Fuego, Chile. Recognizing a unique opportunity to preserve an important part of the world's biodiversity, Goldman Sachs partnered with WCS to ensure that Karukinka remains protected in perpetuity.

X

Charles Darwin visited Tierra del Fuego in 1832, as part of his historic expedition aboard the HMS Beagle.

Admiralty Sound, just off the coast of Karukinka, is a haven for a range of marine species - including elephant seals, leopard seals, sea lions, penguins and albatrosses.

Karukinka: means “Our Land” in the language of the Selk'nam people who once lived here.

The
Land

The park spans 735,522 acres across the southern edge of Patagonia on the archipelago of Tierra del Fuego - a land visited by both Magellan and Darwin. It includes the world's southernmost old-growth forest, a complex of wetland systems, peat bogs, mountains, alpine meadows and more.

Close

Wildlife

  • Andean Condor

    Andean Condor

  • Guanaco

    Guanaco

  • Elephant Seal

    Elephant Seal

Karukinka shelters a unique group of wildlife that includes native guanaco, elephant seals, endangered culpeo foxes and Andean condors. The land is also home to the endangered black-browed albatross and there have been recent sightings of Chilean dolphins, humpback whales and sei whales off the coast.

  • 17Mammal
    Species
  • 77Bird
    Species
  • 5Freshwater
    Fish Species

Ecosystem

  • Peat Bogs

    Peat Bogs

  • Old-Growth Forests

    Old-Growth Forests

  • Complex Riversystems

    Complex Riversystems

Due to its geography, Karukinka is made up of a diverse ecosystem with incredibly high conservation value. It is home to the world's southernmost old-growth forest, rich alpine meadows and vast peat bogs, which help to slow climate change by absorbing hundreds of millions of tons of carbon dioxide.

  • 290Square Miles
    of Peat Bog
  • 290Million Tons of
    Sequestered CO2
  • 416Species of
    Vascular Plants

History

History

Humans first settled the land around 8000 B.C.E. The Yaghan, nomadic hunter-gatherers, were among the first people in the region, and their descendants still live there today.

In 1520, Ferdinand Magellan was the first European to reach the area. Seeing the bonfires made by the indigenous Ona Selk'nam people, he coined the name, “Tierra del Fuego” - land of fire.

Three centuries later, Charles Darwin wrote about the region, its wildlife and its people when he visited it as part of his historic expedition on the HMS Beagle.

  • 8000B.C.E Earliest Human
    Settlement
  • 1520First European
    Visit
  • 1832Darwin
    Explores

A Unique
Partnership

Together, Goldman Sachs and WCS have partnered to protect the land in perpetuity, creating an innovative model for conservation at the global and local levels.

For the Benefit of the People

This model encourages the cooperation of local communities and incorporates their needs.

WCS works to foster ecotourism, coordinates research projects and hosts visitors - including schoolchildren from Tierra del Fuego and throughout Chile - at Karukinka. Across the broader Patagonian region, WCS works to ensure that local peat mining and fisheries are sustainably managed.

The Wildlife Conservation Society

Goldman Sachs' partner in Karukinka is the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). Founded in 1895, the group works to save wildlife and wild places across the globe. Its work in Karukinka is an important part of the larger effort to protect Patagonia.

As the owner and manager of the park, WCS has worked with the Chilean government and other groups to coordinate efforts to study, protect and preserve the land.

Choosing Conservation

Karukinka's 735,522 acres represent one of the world's largest land gifts to conservation. After acquiring land in Tierra del Fuego in 2002, Goldman Sachs conducted an in-depth analysis of the territory and realized that it represented a unique opportunity to preserve a rich part of the planet's biodiversity. The firm began a search for an organization that could help make this opportunity a reality.

Commitment to the Environment

Goldman Sachs has long believed in the importance of a healthy global environment to the world's economies and communities. The Karukinka partnership is just one of the ways the firm promotes sustainability.

Through its Environmental Markets Group, Goldman Sachs works to identify and create market-based solutions to address climate change, ecosystem degradation and other critical environmental issues. And across all of its offices, it has worked to reduce its environmental footprint and promote environmental stewardship.

"We realized we could create value by turning this land into a park for the benefit of the people of Chile and the world."
- Lloyd Blankfein, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Goldman Sachs

a catalyst for
conservation

Karukinka's open model for conservation has sparked further efforts by the Chilean government and other groups to protect and study Tierra del Fuego's ecosystems.

The Karukinka Fellowship

With support from Goldman Sachs, this program identifies and funds priority research projects by graduate students.

The Karukinka Fellowship

Restoring the Patagonian Forests

In partnership with Argentina, Chile has undertaken a large-scale project to eradicate the forests' invasive species.

Restoring the Patagonian Forests

Karukinka Marine Program

This WCS program is working to protect the elephant seal, the South American river otter, and other bird and mammal species on the Chilean coast.

Karukinka Marine Program

Eliminating Salmon Farming

Supported by WCS research, the Chilean government has banned pollution-producing salmon farms from the waters surrounding Tierra del Fuego.

Eliminating Salmon Farming

Science

Research from WCS and other organizations has helped set conservation objectives and design tools and approaches to preserve the region's animals and ecosystems.

Science
access

access

Artist residencies, hiking and biking trails and other ecotourism programs have made the preserve a destination for people from all walks of life.

education

education

The land has presented a unique learning environment for local and international students, from elementary school through post-graduate programs.

research

research

Scientists and graduate students from around the world come to Karukinka to study the park's native species and find new ways to protect the land.

"From its inception, partnership was at the heart of Karukinka's story, and partnership is core to WCS's conservation success."
- Cristián Samper, President and CEO of the Wildlife Conservation Society

LEARN MORE ABOUT GOLDMAN SACHS' OTHER ENVIRONMENTAL INITIATIVES

Environmental, Social and Governance Report

Environmental,
Social and
Governance Report

This annual report describes our work promoting sustainability and strong communities.

Read Report
Environmental Sustainability

Environmental Sustainability

Learn about how we're promoting sustainability through client engagements and within our offices.

Learn More
Clean Energy

Clean Energy

Learn more about how we facilitate capital for Clean Technology and Renewable Energy.

Learn More