The Chile Conservation Funders Group, a working group of BFG, convened in November for a transformative meeting aimed at advancing environmental initiatives and forging collaborative pathways in Chile’s conservation landscape. During the first two days, funders delved deep into the socio-political landscape and emergent environmental challenges shaping Chile’s future. Over several comprehensive sessions, we explored key aspects impacting Chile’s environmental trajectory and identified potential avenues for strategic intervention.

We focused on the current socio-political climate marked by deep polarization, unrest, and pressing security crises that often overshadow the urgent need for environmental protection in face of climate change. We reflected on the continuous struggle to uphold environmental regulations against powerful industry alliances, notably in conflicts surrounding aquaculture and the alignment of artisanal fishers with industry interests.

Finally, we looked at key challenges related to Chile’s role in the energy transition: green hydrogen, lithium mining, and the growing desalination industry. The potential ecological and socio-economic ramifications of these industries, lack of proper regulations, and exploitation of local communities were highlighted.

On the second-to-last day, funders embarked on a full day field trip to Zapallar. Rodrigo Sanchez of Capital Azul guided us through the town to learn about TURF’s Reserve projects and the central role that local fishers and local communities play in their projects. Funders had the opportunity to engage with local fishers which provided invaluable insights into the positive impacts of marine conservation on their communities.

On the final day, funders traveled to Casablanca to explore land and river conservation strategies. Thanks to the expertise of Juan Pablo Orrego from Ecosistemas and Victoria Alonso from Fundación Tierra Austral, we gained crucial insights into critical management issues and the legislative path forward.

The gathering showcased a commitment to collaboration, knowledge exchange, and collective action towards conservation in Chile. If you’re invested in funding initiatives in Chile or keen on learning more about our group’s activities, reach out to Cristina Castiglioni at