New Project Partner – Torres del Paine Legacy Fund

We are pleased to announce that we have teamed up with the Torres del Paine Legacy Fund as our environmental project partner in Patagonia.

We have 3 awesome Patagonia itineraries, all of which visit the incredible Torres del Paine National Park. The park is home to some of Patagonia’s best scenery and biodiversity, but with increasing visitor numbers it is important we take steps to reduce our impact and contribute to conservation efforts in the park.

Through our commitment to donating 1% of our sales to environmental causes, at least 1% of all Patagonia of our trips will be donated to projects through the Torres del Paine Legacy Fund. Our giving is verified by 1% for the Planet.

Why was the Torres del Paine Legacy Fund created?

From its soaring granite spires to plunging glacial valleys, the magnificence of Torres del Paine is best experienced in person. Declared a UNESCO biosphere reserve in 1978 and considered by many as the 8th wonder of the world, over 250,000 people flocked to visit Torres del Paine National Park in 2016. This figure represents a 19% increase from 2015 and visitation is expected to continue to rise by 10% annually. While it brings positive economic benefits to the region, such intensive use and overcrowding has also placed a significant strain on the region’s unique flora and fauna, ageing infrastructure, limited trail system and insufficient resources. Waste and energy systems are at capacity, and since 1985, three man-made fires, all started by tourists, have ravaged almost 1/5 of the park’s area, including ~45,000 ha of native lenga tree forests, home to numerous endemic and endangered species now facing drastically reduced and altered habitats.

Few national park systems in the world are sustained by public resources alone, let alone one as popular as Torres del Paine. They are simply insufficient to keep up with the investments needed to sustainably manage such rapidly increasing visitation. That’s why we need YOUR help to protect this iconic yet fragile destination for future generations.

The Torres del Paine Legacy Fund was founded in 2014 to promote a shared sense of stewardship of this cherished natural wonder—as well as the mechanism to implement it. We see tourism as an opportunity to create positive impact, engaging visitors, businesses, fellow NGOs, park authorities and governments in collaboratively raising funds and awareness to execute locally led sustainability action projects that enhance the long-term health of TDP National Park
and its surrounding communities. Join us in this mission today!

How your support helps

Your support will be leveraged with that of other responsible travellers, environmentalists, businesses, and explorers to provide financial and technical assistance for locally led sustainability action projects that:
● Restore and protect ecosystems
● Improve tourism infrastructure and mitigate visitor impacts
● Promote community development
● Diversify recreation opportunities for residents and visitors

Right now we’re looking for your help to restore and improve the park’s heavily utilized W circuit, maintaining and constructing trails that improve the hiker experience and safety while minimizing further environmental impacts.

Proper trail construction, with high-quality materials, appropriate siting and erosion control, is critical to ensuring the longevity of these investments in a climate as harsh and wet as Patagonia’s, and protecting its critical but fragile ecosystems.

Every year, with park authorities, local and international volunteers, we conduct much-needed trail maintenance on the W, and are currently constructing a new trail that requires a small footbridge that will create an even more scenic, less congested, safe and pleasant hiking experience that minimizes disturbance to surrounding flora and fauna.

 

Just by travelling with The Grand Adventure Company you are leaving behind a positive legacy in Torres del Paine.

However, if you want to do more, you can help spread the word by following The Torres del Paine Legacy Fund on Facebook, or donating to one of our projects. When you’re here you can patronize our local business partners that share our commitment to reinvest in their community, or, come get your hands dirty and join as a volunteer!

Visit supporttdp.org to find out more about how you can help preserve this extraordinary place for years to come.

Tasks we will help to fund

Donations from your trip will go towards reforestation projects within the National Park, as well as trail conservation projects on the W trek route.

Which Grand Adventures are linked to this project?

All of our Patagonia Adventures contribute 1% of the total trip price to this project. This includes:

Ultimate Patagonia

Torres del Paine 7 day W Trek

Torres del Paine 9 day circuit 

You will see evidence of the Torres del Paine Legacy Fund’s work throughout your visit to the National Park. If you would like to take some time to visit specific project works or if you are interested in extending your trip by volunteering on a project please Get in Touch.

What we hope for the future

We hope that through supporting this project we help to minimise the impact of the increasing visitor numbers to the park, allowing many more generations to enjoy this special and unique place. Through reforestation projects, we also hope to protect the unique biodiversity in the area.

We hope that we can continue to be a voice for the environment and encourage more businesses to stand up for our planet. Change is only going to happen if we can all work together! www.onepercentfortheplanet.org/

About Author

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James
Before founding 'The Grand Adventure Company' James worked in a variety of different roles from planning school expeditions around the world to organising high-altitude and remote mountaineering ventures. These roles led to all sorts of adventures from travelling across Mongolia in a 'Russian Forgon' delivering tourism training to remote Mongolian nomads to visiting communities damaged by the Nepal earthquakes to assess damage and setting up community projects in the regions. James is a qualified Mountain Leader, Leave No Trace trainer and expedition leader and holds membership to the British Mountaineering Council, the Mountain Training Association and aspirant membership to the British Association of International Mountain Leaders. In 2013 James cycled solo from London to Sydney. More recently, James completed the infamous '24 hour Bob Graham Round' and can usually be found in The Lake District running and cycling up mountains.

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