The Goldman Sachs Charitable Fund (the "Fund"), with the assistance of Goldman Sachs ("GS") and its employees, will pledge $6 million to preserve in perpetuity the 680,000 acres of priceless land the Fund gave to the Wildlife Conservation Society ("WCS") in trust for the people of Chile. Through WCS, these funds will help maintain and protect this unique eco-system for future generations by developing and endowing a world-class nature reserve. This $6 million commitment is in addition to the nearly $7 million committed to provide for the start-up of the reserve creation project and to endow basic maintenance and security for the property.
Nearly three years ago, GS purchased a portfolio of distressed debt, which included notes secured by 680,000 acres of ecologically significant forestland on the Chilean side of the island of Tierra del Fuego. The area encompasses exceptional high-latitude temperate beech forests found nowhere else in the world except in Southern Chile and Argentina. The land also supports an unusual complex of three diffferent sub Antarctic wetland systems covering one third of the land. This is probably the only place in the world where all three major peat bog systems ('turbas') are aggregated into a single large area.
After determining that this environmentally precious tract of land could and should be preserved, the notes were contributed to the Fund, and ultimately the Fund selected the WCS to receive the land and to take primary responsibility for creating and maintaining the natural reserve.