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The Great Patagonia Land Grab

A Case Study in International Biodiversity, Conservation, and Environmental Politics

Co Authors:

Courtney E. Quinn
Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communication
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

John E. Quinn
School of Natural Resources
University of Nebraska-Lincoln


This PowerPoint case (~2.4 MB) was developed for an undergraduate, non-majors course in conservation biology. It explores the controversy surrounding land purchases in the Patagonia region of Chile and Argentina. According to local indigenous peoples, wealthy individuals are purchasing their ancestral land and then forcing them to leave. Individual landowners and international environmental groups wish to preserve the pristine ecosystems that remain in Patagonia. This case serves as an introduction to stakeholder controversy, the international dimensions of environmental policy, public versus private ownership for environmental protection, and conflict resolution.

  • Understand the role of environmental policy in environmental protection.
  • Explore an environmental issue from various viewpoints.
  • Gain a better appreciation of the many stakeholders affected by environmental decisions and their potentially conflicting goals.
  • Learn about Patagonia and its environmental importance.
  • Gain knowledge of indigenous peoples and their role in environmental protection and policy.
Keywords: Environmental policy; environmental decision-making; water rights; land use; indigenous peoples; environmental conservation; biodiversity; threatened species; endangered species; Patagonia; Chile; Argentina; South America
Topical Area: Policy issues, Social issues, Social justice issues
Educational Level: Undergraduate lower division
Formats: PDF, PowerPoint
Type/Method: Analysis (Issues)
Language: English
Subject Headings: Natural Resource Management   Environmental Science   Ecology  
Date Posted: 09/08/09
Date Modified: N/A
Copyright: Copyright held by the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, University at Buffalo, State University of New York. Please see our usage guidelines, which outline our policy concerning permissible reproduction of this work.

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