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Thanks for a great Congress!

On behalf of the ILCN, we want to thank everyone who attended our Global Congress in January in Santiago, Chile.

The accomplishments, ingenuity, and passion you all demonstrated during our time together was truly inspirational, and we are so excited about all of the new relationships and initiatives that are already coming out of conversations from those three days.

We invite you to read this brief summary with highlights from the Congress.

We are also already looking forward to the next Global Congress, which will be held in Europe in early 2020 in partnership with the European Private Land Conservation Network.


Laura Johnson, Jim Levitt, Emily Myron and Jivan Sobrinho-Wheeler
ILCN Staff

In this newsletter:
Highlights from the ILCN
We are excited to share stories from ILCN members. If you have a successful conservation initiative, story, event, or webinar to share, then please contact us at
2018 Global Congress
From Communities to Countries: Visionary Conservation in a Changing World
The ILCN Global Congress, held from January 24-26 in Santiago, Chile, was attended by 160 people representing two dozen countries. Over the course of 24 workshops, three plenaries, and a field trip, participants built relationships across countries and continents, as well as discussed shared challenges and the latest innovations in private land conservation management, policy, governance, and financing. We invite you to read this brief summary with highlights from the Congress.

We are happy to share some highlights and actions that have come out of the Congress below.
Congress Highlights

This Congress brought together experts from around the world in a variety of fields. Discussions centered around four themes: conservation finance; organization and governance; law and policy; and land management, restoration, and stewardship. See here for descriptions of the Congress's 24 sessions.

We were also joined by leaders from around the world who reinforced the importance of private land conservation as we work together to safeguard our natural resources, protect biodiversity, and adapt to climate change. Many thanks to our keynote speakers:
  • Marcelo Mena, Minister of the Environment, Republic of Chile (click here to watch his remarks)
  • Humberto Delgado Rosa, Director for Natural Capital, DG Environment, European Commission (click here to watch his remarks)
  • Andrew Bowman, President, Land Trust Alliance, USA (click here to watch his remarks)
We were also honored to receive video greetings from friends of the ILCN who could not attend in person:
  • Dr. Jane Goodall, Founder of the Jane Goodall Institute (click here to watch her remarks)
  • The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Canada (click here to watch her remarks)
  • The Honourable Josh Frydenberg, Minister for the Environment and Energy, Australia (click here to watch his remarks)
  • Angelo Salsi, Head LIFE and CIP Eco-Innovation Unit, European Commission (click here to watch his remarks)
  • Naoko Ishii, CEO and Chairperson of the Global Environment Facility (click here to watch her remarks)
The energy at the Congress was palpable, and we hope that all participants left inspired and renewed in their commitment to advancing private land conservation in their communities.

We are excited to share a few of the concrete actions that have already come out of the Congress.

Creation of Red Sudamericana de Conservación Voluntária

A simple lunch conversation about communication between South American colleagues working in voluntary conservation has resulted in the creation of the Red Sudamericana de Conservación Voluntária (RSCV; translated as the South American Network of Voluntary Conservation). The goal of this new network is to have a more active exchange of experiences, lessons learned, sharing of information, materials, and alignment with ILCN initiatives.

Practitioners from Brazil, Argentina, and Chile initiated the concept; they have since been joined by colleagues in Colombia, Peru, Paraguay and Ecuador.

For more information and to join the new RSCV, please contact Flávio Ojidos (Brazil) at, Florencia Morales (Argentina) at, or Mauricio Moreno (Chile) at You can also follow the RSCV on Facebook here.

Initiation of a Global Tax Working Group

Inspired by conversations between tax experts in the United States and South Africa, participants are exploring the creation of a new working group to explore issues and opportunities related to tax incentives for private land conservation.

If you are interested in learning more or getting involved in this group, please contact Jivan Sobrinho-Wheeler at

Greening Transmission Lines

Practitioners in Chile have been collaborating with those in Belgium to explore how transmission line corridors can double as biodiversity corridors. Presented as a case study at the ILCN's 2015 Global Congress in Berlin, the technique, developed in Belgium, uses low-growing vegetation in electric utility transmission right-of-way corridors as an alternative to traditional mow-everything-to-the-ground practices. The opportunity and rationale for such projects in Chile was presented at this Congress, immediately resulting in conversations with regulators and utility companies, as well as exploration into funding to demonstrate and diffuse the practice across Chile.

Finally, we would like to thank the many Congress partners, committee members, and volunteers who made this event possible.


Witness to a historic conservation legacy

In the days following the conclusion of the Congress, Chilean President Michelle Bachelet signed a declaration creating some 10 million acres of national parks in Chile. This achievement is the result of 25 years of intense work on the part of Doug and Kristine Tompkins and their organization, as well as the fruit of their recent collaboration with the Government of Chile. 

See here for Kris Tompkins’ editorial, which ran in the New York Times on February 1, 2018. The editorial celebrates the creation new parks as an act of democracy. 

A generous conference donor made it possible for Jim Levitt (Lincoln Institute), Tilmann Disselhoff (ELCN and NABU) and Tom Kirschey (NABU) to travel to the newly created Patagonia National Park in Chacacbuco, Chile to witness the signing of the new parks declaration by President Bachelet. At this historic ceremony, both President Bachelet and Kristine Tompkins delivered powerful comments regarding this historic achievement. After the official ceremony, on behalf of the ILCN and others, Levitt informally presented a “Conservation Visionaries” recognition to President Bachelet for her government's globally significant work in establishing the Derecho Real de Conservacion and the La Red de Los Parques.

ILCN hosts study tour with European land conservationists in Chile

In advance of the Global Congress, ILCN staff led seven European conservationists from the newly formed European Private Land Conservation Network (ELCN) on a study tour of private land conservation projects in the Metropolitan Region of Chile. The purpose of the tour was to introduce the ELCN delegates to conservation tools and techniques in use in Chile and to discuss the potential of their transferability from country to country. Over several days, participants met with a variety of land conservation and management projects.

The group started with a trip to Emiliana Organic Vineyards, the leading organic vineyard in Chile and one of the largest in the world, where they learned about the vineyard’s unique organic and biodynamic processes.

Then, the group traveled west to Zapallar to visit Parque El Boldo, a ~70-hectare hillside park protecting the unique “Bosques de Zapallar” ecosystem and an incredible view of the city and coastline. In response to development threats, a group of 22 neighbors from Zapallar purchased the hill and set aside about 70 ha as a private protected area open to the public. Today, the park is managed and administered by the NGO Corporación Bosques de Zapallar (CBZ). During a hike on site, participants learned about the history of the park, management challenges, and plans for its future, as well as conservation plans for the larger landscape.

From the coast, the group traveled east into the Andes Mountains to visit Parque Andino Juncal, a 13,796-hectare privately protected area owned by the Kenrick Lyon Community. Parque Andino Juncal represents two-thirds of the Juncal river basin, and is at the foot of the Juncal Glacier. Participants discussed restoration, tourism efforts, and challenges related to mining, hydroelectric infrastructure, and overgrazing. 

Finally, the group met in Santiago with experts involved in the development and passing of the Derecho Real de Conservación (DRC). The discussion centered around the DRC's design, the future of the tool, and whether it is something that may be replicated elsewhere. 

The range of landscapes, challenges, opportunities, and tools in Chile inspired the European delegation. As Chile is a Civil Code country, similar to most countries in the EU, participants left with tools and solutions that could be transferred and adapted to the European context.

The ILCN would like to thank all the gracious organizations who hosted the study tour – your successes have taught and inspired us. For more information about the European Private Land Conservation Network, please contact Tillman Disselhoff, Project Coordinator at Naturschutzbund Deutschland (NABU) at

The Nature Conservancy, through its NatureVest conservation impact investing unit, has launched its second Conservation Investment Accelerator grant award program. The Accelerator supports innovative conservation investment ideas with the potential to drive replicable conservation impact and generate sustained financial returns. They are offering $50k to $250k grant awards to support conservation projects ranging from early-stage proof-of-concept to more developed “live” deal work in order to help build the market for conservation investments and drive impact at scale.

Applications will be accepted through April 13th, and full details can be found at


Emily Myron

Emily Myron, who has been project manager for the ILCN for the last two years, will be moving on at the end of the month. She will be starting a new position with The Nature Conservancy Massachusetts Chapter, where she will focus on state and federal land and water conservation policy. 

She sends her heartfelt thanks to all of you - she has learned so much from your experiences and has been deeply inspired by your commitment to conservation.

The ILCN wishes to thank Emily for her hard work and commitment to the Network and wish her all the best in this next step of her journey.

To contact Emily in the future, please email her at Any correspondence related to the ILCN should be directed to Jivan Sobrinho-wheeler at
Upcoming Events:

Natural Climate Buffers Study Tour
April 18-20, 2018, The Netherlands

The Dutch Coalition for Natural Climate Buffers and Eurosite are pleased to host a 2½ day  climate buffers study tour for natural site managers, project managers, nature conservation ecologists and policy makers, as well as government officials and landscape engineers. More information is available here.

EU Green Week 2018
May 21-25, 2018

The 2018 Green Week will explore ways in which the EU is helping cities to become better and greener places to live and work. Showcasing policy developments on air quality, noise, nature and biodiversity, waste and water management, it will promote participatory approaches to urban development, networking schemes, and tools for sharing best practices, engaging local authorities and citizens, and encouraging them to share their vision of a sustainable future. More information is available here.

2018 Conservation Finance Boot Camp
June 18-22, 2018, Fort Collins, CO USA

The Boot Camp offers in-depth information on trends and opportunities in public funding, private investment
capital, bridge financing and loans, gifts and grants, income from the land, and monetized ecosystem services. There is a strong emphasis on practical, hands-on tools and lessons from relevant case studies. More information is available here.

ELCN International Workshop on Legal Tools for Private Land Conservation
June 14-15, 2018, Arktikum, Rovaniemi, Finland

This first workshop of the LIFE ELCN project will investigate how private land conservation works under existing EU and national legislation and how new instruments could be legally codified to forster the concept of private land conservation. The workshop will focus on two topics: "conservation easements" and "privately protected areas". More information is available here.

See more on the ILCN's Calendar of Events.
Many thanks to our content contributors: Emily Myron (Project Manager, International Land Conservation Network) and Jim Levitt (Associate Director for Land Conservation Programs, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy).

February 2018
The mission of the International Land Conservation Network is to connect organizations and people around the world that are accelerating voluntary private and civic sector action that protects and stewards land and water resources. 
Learn more at

The ILCN in a project of the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.
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