The Patagonian Foundation
PO Box 29113 San Francisco, CA 94129 USA

April 24, 2018

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Currently, the residents of Chile’s Aisen region are in a desperate battle to save the Baker (left) and Pascua Rivers, two of the most beautiful in the world. Endesa, a Spanish electric company, is threatening to construct two dams on the Baker and two on the Pascua. These dams significantly threaten the local environment and raise serious social concerns. First, these rivers are surrounded by thousands of acres of nature reserves and fragile ecosystems and species that would be completely flooded and/or permanently altered by the dams. Second, Endesa plans to send all of the energy generated by the dams more than 2,000 km north to Santiago, which requires the installation of extensive high voltage transmission lines. These lines will permanently alter the landscape and significantly diminish property values for many local people, who will receive little to no compensation. Third, Endesa hopes to pass these lines through at least one privately owned nature reserve and perhaps other important ecosystems. Finally, the temporary workforce that will infiltrate the largely rural area raises serious social concerns regarding housing, prostitution and crime.


RAVE (Rapid Assessment Visual Expedition) was born as an initiative of the International League of Conservation Photographers. Conceived to address the challenges of modern conservation, RAVE aims to achieve a full visual and media assessment in a short period of time by means of a multi-disciplinary team that includes several specialized ILCP photographers (landscape, wildlife, macro, camera trapping, portraiture), writers and cameramen. Their job is to bring back a comprehensive portrait of a conservation issue or threat in a very short period of time.


In cooperation with the ILCP, TPF has arranged to dispatch world renowned media professionals from Spain, the US, and Chile to the region for a three week field expedition in February 2010 to document the area in photos, video, sound, and words. The outreach campaign will involve the creation of short multimedia pieces, a documentary film, an interactive traveling exhibit, presentations, and books to be shared with various conservation organizations involved in stopping the dam. The photographs and other assets will also be broadcast widely in major worldwide media outlets. Together, ILCP, TPF and other conservation organizations will flood both the public and decision makers in Italy, Spain, Canada, the United States, and Chile with provoking images of what stands to be lost forever if the dams are built.


TPF has received support from a number of organizations to make the Patagonia RAVE possible, including the ILCP, The Baum Foundation, Conservacion Patagonica, Salvaje Corazon, Patagonia House, and numerous individual donors. TPF is extremely thankful to these organizations and individuals, for without their support this project would not be possible.