She was a successful CEO of the clothing manufacturer Patagonia and played a decisive role in building the company. And then left everything behind to move to the wilderness of the actual Patagonia in Chile. For nature conservation – and for love.
Our guest in this episode is Kristine Tompkins, an environmentalist and the president of Tompkins Conservation. She has been working tirelessly for three decades to protect the environment. And what she and her late husband Doug Tompkins have achieved is truly amazing.
Like Kristine, Doug himself was very successful in the outdoor clothing market in his first life, co-founding the brands “The North Face” and “Esprit”.
When Kristine and him eventually sold their shares, they began to buy up private land in Chile and Argentina, to restore it at great effort, to combine it into protected areas, and to finally hand it over to the government as national parks to protect this land forever.
Thanks to the work of Kristine and Doug, new national parks with an area larger than that of the whole of Switzerland have been established in Chile alone. The couple is considered as some of the most successful national park-oriented philanthropists in history.
Currently, Kristine – as President of Tompkins Conservation – is overseeing a number of projects in Chile and Argentina aimed at creating even more national parks and reserves and halting the extinction of species by reintroducing native species that are threatened or locally extinct – such as the jaguar.