The land and ocean off the southernmost point of South America is now a protected area.
The Tierra del Fuego legislature has voted to establish the Peninsula Mitre Protected Area, which comprises 1.2 million acres (485,623 hectares) of land and ocean.
Yvon Chouinard, founder of outdoor apparel brand Patagonia and a longstanding advocate for the region, recounted his first experience there:
“In 1977, my friend Paul Bruun and I backpacked along the coast of Peninsula Mitre looking for streams to fish and adventure. We found old shipwrecks, kelp forests, peat bogs and sea trout in one of the wildest places left on the planet. I’m proud to have been a small part of creating this park at the end of the world.”
Peninsula Mitre is located at the eastern end of Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego, Argentina. Due to its huge expanse of peat, the peninsula is the largest area of carbon capture in the country and the presence of well-preserved underwater kelp forests increases the importance and biodiversity of this ecosystem. Various species inhabit, migrate to, and find food in its terrestrial and marine areas, including: the endangered southern river otter, the humpback whale and the Fuegian steamer duck.
Also, the area is home to some of the region’s most significant natural and cultural heritage, such as traces of the Haush (a hunter-gatherer people), the remains of shipwrecks as well as a plethora of flora and fauna.
Major conservation news out of Argentina!
Legislators in Tierra del Fuego have just voted to establish the 1.2 million acre Peninsula Mitre Protected Area – Argentina's most important carbon sink – a significant global climate win!
Photos: Joel Reyero pic.twitter.com/01qXctEWj0
— Re:wild (@rewild) December 7, 2022