Valdivian Coastal Reserve – The largest private sector contribution to a conservation area

In 2005, The Nature Conservancy, with financial support from WWF and Conservation International, bought a property from a forestry company in southern Chile. The site covers 55,000 hectares and is home to one of the last intact remnants of southern hemisphere temperate rainforests and boasts populations of Pudu (the world’s smallest deer), Darwin’s Fox (one of the world’s most endangered canines) and Alerce (the world’s second oldest tree). Over the past decade, TNC has built extensive management systems, a verified REDD+ forest carbon project, restoration efforts and local community engagement to make it a leading global example of private reserve conservation.

In 2010, EcoAdvisors founder Hari Balasubramanian helped negotiate a long-term financing transaction with BHP Billiton. The 20.4M USD contribution covers costs for the land purchase debt and establishes a conservation trust fund to support annual management costs for the reserve in perpetuity. We worked to set up the initial deal; through the 4 year implementation phase to ensure project achieved KPIs and established key processes related to tenure, risk and stakeholder management; and now sit on the fund oversight committee, the governance mechanism of the long-term financing vehicle for ongoing management. Our role has included negotiator – of the transaction itself, facilitator – between TNC, CI and BHP Billiton to ensure a shared vision and concrete results, and arbitor – of ongoing financial contributions from the fund to the project.

Our collective goal is to ensure the protection and management of La Reserva Costera Valdiviana in perpetuity.

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