Chile California Conservation Exchange 2019


The Chile California Council sponsors the Chile California Conservation Exchange (CCCX), an independent project initiated by Board members Ralph Benson and Tomás McKay. The CCCX Project was inspired by the remarkable similarities of the landscapes, coastlines and ecologies of Chile and California. 

Each year, starting in 2017, the CCCX Project has invited approximately 35 Chilean leaders from the Government, academia, foundations and the nonprofit sector to gather and meet over three days with a like number of their California peers. 

The first conference, in 2017, was in Sonoma County. In 2018 the CCCX conference was in Santa Cruz and in 2019 it was on Tomales Bay near Pt. Reyes. 

Topics addressed include the climate crisis, coastal planning and management, marine protected areas, fisheries, large landscape protection strategies, implementation of the derecho real de conservación, the value of Mediterranean landscapes, support for national parks, private land conservation standards and practices, tax policy and conservation philanthropy, 

The Project has spawned multiple ongoing collaborations and international friendships. 

Links to the 2017, 2018 and 2019 conference programs and reports are below.

A 2020 conference was planned for Santiago, but events intervened – the pandemic and el estallido. It is unlikely that a large gathering will happen before 2022. In the meantime the CCCX Project is focusing on the “public trust doctrine” – a legal concept that is foundational to resource protection in California but not a part of Chilean law. The CCCX Project has assembled the leading scholars on the public trust doctrine in the U.S. and linked them with a group of leading constitutional and environmental law professors from law schools throughout Chile.  Together they are producing a policy paper on the public trust doctrine and its potential relevance to Chile. The paper is expected by early 2021 and will be followed by webinars sponsored by the Council. 

The CCCX Project has been funded by generous grants from the David & Lucile Packard Foundation, the Pew Charitable Trusts, the Marisla Foundation, the Weeden Foundation, the Walton Family Foundation, the Resources Legacy Fund, the Windward Fund, and several individual friends.

Download Report – CCCX 2019

Chile California Conservation Exchange 2018


The CCC supported and engaged in the Chile California Conservation Exchange meeting in Santa Cruz, CA in October 2018, where 32 Chilean environmental policy leaders and conservation practitioners met and exchanged ideas with a like number of U.S. and California peers. Specific topics discussed were: 

1) Coastal Zone Management & Protection – reviewing 50+ years of experience with California’s Coastal Act and current coastal issues and challenges in Chile and California 

2) Conservation Philanthropy & Tax Law – examining how California nonprofits raise operating funds and the tax impediments to conservation philanthropy in Chile 

3) Collaboration & Alliances – considering whether the time might be right for a national umbrella conservation alliance in Chile. 

In the course of the meeting Felipe Ward, Minister of National Assets, highlighted proposed policies for national parks and the coastline. Jorge Flies, former Governor of Magallanes and Chilean Antarctica, noted opportunities that may arise from Chile’s planned decentralization to new regional governments in 2020. 

The 2018 conference was not intended as a singular event but rather as part of an ongoing process of broadening and strengthening networks and of institutional development in the environmental and conservation field throughout Chile and California 

Download Report – CCCX 2018

Chile California Conservation Exchange 2017


The conference brought 24 Chilean conservation leaders (a legislator and legislative staff, land owners, NGO and foundation staff) to Sonoma County, California to meet with 44 conservation and other professionals from California and throughout the United States September 25–28, 2017. 


Over the course of the conference the participants took field trips. The sites were venues for learning about natural land management in California. A key achieved goal of the Conference was to facilitate a robust, useful dialogue on issues of concern among Chilean and California land conservation leaders.

Download Report – CCCX 2017