From Lake Tahoe to Lago Llanquihue

Lago Llanquihue, one of Chile’s most visited north Patagonian lakes, has long faced tension between urban development and tourism on the one hand and conservation on the other. This has been exacerbated by recent demographic growth in the area, as well as new threats and uncertainties posed by climate change. In March of this year, CBI’s Betsy Fierman, working closely with the foundation Chile Lagos Limpios as well as the Regional Government and the Association of Municipalities of the Lake Llanquihue Basin, kicked off a process that brings together representatives from government, industry, academia, and civil society organizations to come up with a plan for the lake’s future.
CBI and Chile Lagos Limpios have sought to weave lessons from other regions—especially from CBI’s Lake Tahoe work—into the conversation. In a recent article from the Diario Llanquihue, regional governor Patricio Vallespín highlights what might be learned from Lake Tahoe’s related circumstances, noting, “The experience from that North American lake area has become an international example of planning, environmentally friendly development, public participation and involvement of government authorities.”