II.  If you, as homo turisticus consumeristicus, knowing the dangerous for nature, law and community, footprint you would leave, decided to see the meagre remains of the chunk of ice that used to be a glacier in the not habilitated sector of the national park, and witness the tragedy of the destroyed land, your personal responsibility can be triggered at any time :

  1. For promoting this land for public use and thus putting a successful nature restoration project at risk;

  2. For hiring and promoting a tour operator without proper contractual arrangements for his/her operations;

  3. Liability can be incurred for entering non-habilitated State-controlled sectors of protected areas;

  4. The liability for leaving garbage, including in private property, can be up to $ 200,000 (Law 20.879);

  5. High wildfire risk, no fire prevention or fire management in the valley, the use of fire is prohibited: penal liability according to Law 20653, the wildfires are mainly caused by humans;

  6. You might not be covered by travel and other insurances as you are trespassing private land with no formal authorisation;

  7. There are no tourism lawyers in the region, unlike in other popular tourism destinations;

  8. Several lethal hypothermia accidents occurred in the waters of the area in the last years, recent tsunamis on the lake L.;

  9. No medical or other help accessible in case of accident; as the sector has no public access, it’s not a priority for the rescue service; rescue service is anyway very scarce in the area, the helicopter is expensive and not always available;

  10. The hantavirus is present throughout the South of the country; lots of rodents, potential carriers;

  11. Rabies is present in bats (protected species);        

  12. Do not forget that this land is not abandoned, you are passing by a strict nature reserve, the home of trees, plants and wild animals, through a tree cemetery, where the orchards are reserved to wildlife;

  13. Emergency and reporting contacts: denunciaseguro.cl, *4242; forest fire: 130; police: 134; drugs: 135.

  14. Tourism operators must be obligatorily registered in Sernatur (Law 20.423); Adventure tourism services must comply with the security standards in Art. 34 of Decree 19.

watch by cameras
Private road valley Leones
degraded Leones valley

Prevention of damage to land and nature by

the industry of tourism via legal oversight

degraded ecosystem valley Leones

A citation: “Tourism is unsustainable, effects can be mitigated, but not always. CO2 offsets are just hiding the damage”. Chris Thomson, Head of Responsible Tourism, Federation of Tour Operators.

You might imagine this landscape with 2 m of additional soil cover on the hills, ancient native forest and unknown wildlife - the situation before the ecocide, 80 years ago

Tourism is identified as a threat to bird life in the San Rafael National Park : datazone.birdlife.org.

If we loved Nature we would not have put it under intense stress

by our occasional, disposable and hedonistic visits for “recreational use”

One-third of global protected land is under intense human pressure | Science.pdf

In 1993 EUROPARC published the ground breaking report “Loving them to death.pdf”, which called for sustainable tourism in Europe’s Protected Areas, the situation is just worsening now

Loss of nature poses risks to economy and human health, uncontrolled tourism is accentuating this risk;

As to the landscape of the destroyed valley of the Leones/Delta river, representative of the situation in the region and reason for the project: critically degraded nature, ecosystem transformed by shock, a novel ecosystem.

Nature- and eco-tourism, including photography, is a major factor

of deaths of wild animals by exhaustion and starvation.

thd lateral
reserves are private land

You may consider not to do to nature what you would not like to be done to you: abstain from violating its privacy, not consider it as an “object” or “thing”. We are protecting nature from ourselves - the best method would be to stay away.

May 2023

Tourists are not welcome
barbara hernandez nadadora
Legal liability of tourism

Socio-ecological footprint of the event:

  1. The value of the land so far preserved, the joint efforts to protect the nature of the valley and its image were exported and sold to and by external players of the media market, through a typical “greenwashing”. No ecosystem services locally paid.

  2. One of the area of the filming is specially protected for its fragile biodiversity, under threat now.

  3. Increased anthropogenic stress through the interest of mass tourism and traffic to the closed sector of the national park through private rural land, an increase of the number of public and commercial events.

  4. The small, mainly agricultural, landowners of the valley see their property and other rights and interests ignored, their communal resources exploited. Previously done road repairs on a road used by the community are removed now to prevent further events of this type.

  5. For the nature protection project: the substantial efforts deployed to give the still vulnerable nature and wildlife a chance to regenerate are compromised by exposure, disrespect and misuse of resources.

  6. Probably compromising the UNESCO biosphere reserve status: staging “influencers” are not listed as a management tool in the management plan for the LSRNP and the biosphere reserve. .

  7. In order to perpetrate this “initiative” an exclusive contract  was concluded.

The turning point: an illustrative case of deleterious effects of social media’s self-promotional

campaigns in nature protected areas, with legal consequences:

A risky promotional ice water swimming challenge was organized in the lake by “influencers” (“a person with the ability to influence potential buyers of a product or service by promoting or recommending the items on social media”) and a tour operator. In the national park closed at that time (23.01.2021) by the regional Conaf resolution 57/2020. With little attention paid to the safety rules for such "challenges". In the midst of the pandemic, without respecting the Covid health regulations (quarantine in the commune). The accompanying TVN crew filming the event was performing filmmaking in private properties without any contact with nor authorisation by the landowners. The “event” in the lake and glacier, which has neither habilitated public access nor professional rescue coverage, has been (see below) widely and continuously promoted on social networks and in the mass media (first broadcast: TVN 10 July 2021), including the publication of inadequate information about the area.

Legal issues and questions:

  1. The obvious: The filming team was filming in obvious contravention of the basic norms for professional/commercial filming of the legislation on audio-visual services and audiovisual law. Legal actions under civil and audiovisual law are still on.

  2. Commercials were were filmed in private land, with no contact with

or authorisation by the landowners.

  1. Product of the unauthorised commercial filming was sold through

the production company, issues of  fraudulent use of property of others

and of disposing of their property against their will were raised under civil law procedures.

How will the usufruct be reimbursed to the landowners?

  1. Issues of payment of reparations and compensation to the wronged landowners for revenues from filming and advertisements; losses for private landowners and farmers can be calculate in monetary terms, unjustified enrichment issues. Potential suing for the proceeds of the movie.

  2. Copyright issues: the image of the property of others was sold under own presumed copyright (of the influencers and the tour operator). Trading license issues: under which license the use of property was traded?

  3. Taxation issues: General issue of taxation of influencers, for profits made, including sponsorships. No contract was concluded between the landowners and the influencers and the tour operator, who paid the taxes?

  4. Deceptive advertising: false information about the tourism destination.

  5. Generating the risk of spreading pathological agents in violation of an order issued by the health authority at times of epidemic is a criminal offense under national law.

  6. The publicity of this unacceptable, to say the least, promotional event, which resulted in a legal case, is continuing by the authorities.


Travel influencers sued for deceptive advertising                                                  


It is recognised at various levels that tourism, growing exponentially, whether ordinary, “nature-based”, “eco”, “scientific”, “adventure”, “conservation”, “revenge”, “de- or re-forestation”, “bad weather”, “last chance”, sport and, in particular, “instratourism”, constitutes a threat to nature in all its forms and media. One of the main objectives of this legal project is to protect the already critically damaged nature from continued pressures, including exploitation through the uncontrolled development of mass tourism in the area, which is acting in a synergetic cumulative effect with other stresses,

in the absence of proactive management, long-term planning and adequate enforcement of the legal framework.

Aggravated by the fact that Tourism law, especially on recreation and nature-based tourism,

a developed branch of law nowadays, is not taught and is enforced ad minima in the area.

The land of the project and its close surroundings are a good example.

Hence a goal of the project: restore the Rule of Law in this part of the buffer zone of a UNESCO biosphere reserve.

The place was not acquired to facilitate access to a State-regulated area: a closed sector

of the core area of a biosphere reserve = the Laguna San Rafael national park (LSRNP),

an action for which any person, physical or legal, would be legally liable,

but for land protection and restoration as it was severely degraded and deserved a better life,

focusing on sustainable degrowth and on the protection of the right of nature to its own life.

The project does not support and is not related to any tourism association, group or activity.  

No tourism operations of whatever kind are allowed within the project.   

I. The settings:

1. The sector Leones (glacier and lake) of the Northern Patagonian Ice Field, like all other glaciers and their lakes of this Ice Field, accessible from the Leones valley, is located in the Laguna San Rafael national park (LSRNP, see map), a UNESCO biosphere reserve. There are no open entry points for public into this national park, and therefore into the ice field, in this sector. Access to State-protected areas, such as national parks, is regulated by Conaf. The only way to visit the LSRNP and the Northern Ice Field is by booking entries into an open sector of the park through the official aspticket.cl platform.

Legal issues:

- Confirmed regular checks by the rangers in the sector Leones of the Northern Ice Field.

You may be able to pay the fines directly to the management of the park (Conaf),

  or there is an office in Puerto Tranquilo.

  1. -The area is under surveillance, drone and cameras. All information

   on tourism passage, whether individual or with tourism  operators,

   is transmitted to rangers of the park. Eco patrols in operation.

2.  There are no tour operators with valid contracts for running business in the sector Leones of the LSRNP, a fact confirmed by the State managing authority of the park. Please contact the management of the LSRNP for reconfirmation. 

Legal issues:

- Legal base: Decree No. 50 on concessions, Law 20.423 on tourism and its regulation decree No. 19.

- The local actors of the tourism industry have created a major problem: overlooking deliberately the critical need to meet all legal requirements necessary for the conduct of their business activities for their own profit.         Check list tour operators

3. Terrestrial route to the sector Leones of the LSNP:

As from the turn from Ruta CH-7 (Carretera Austral), the transit through the Leones (river Delta) valley is crossing exclusively private rural properties, from 15 to 20 private agricultural plots of land adjacent to the LSRNP (source: maps of Sii.cl). The private status of this access (path X-732 and further trail) was confirmed by the Road Service (Vialidad MOP) of the region and at least three local lawyers. The opportunistic trespassing of private land by external business or by any other passage in no way transforms private access into a public road or creates legal servitudes for public passage or in favor of the national park, the creation of these being a specific process defined by law and to be arranged by the habilitated authority. The absence of servitudes and of public access is also confirmed in the management plan of the LSRNP.

Legal issues:

- Breach of property rights of the rural landowners in the valley;

- The green “public road” sign to the “Campo de hielo” and other similar signs installed wittingly, advertising open access to this State-administered area at the turn into the valley are, therefore, misleading and bear legal consequences. They constitute disinformation and “false advertising” for potential visitors;

- General Law on Urbanisation and Building: it is not allowed to create streets in rural areas (art. 55-56);

  1. -The commercialisation by the local tourism industry for its own benefit of the use of private rural properties, of their efforts and investments, may be qualified as a legal tort of selling the use and unjustified use of the property of others (res aliena) with no mandate for it, and is subject to respective legal claims litigating this activity, as well as compensation claims for the resulting unjustified enrichment, for compensation of damage and losses of the landowners affected, for restitution to the only use by the landowners of the wrongfully used properties, for compensation for the wrongful use of the land, at maximum -  illicit enrichment;

  2. -Legal responsibility for facilitating and promoting access of a non-open entry point into a national park.

- Most (if not all) of the land in the valley is registered for agricultural use. The above-mentioned tourism pressure is illicitly, de facto, imposing a change of land use for “industrial” use, the tourism industry being one of the world’s largest industries. ;

- Any external activity using the shared between the rural landowners resources would require their agreement, properly legally registered, to use their respective land plots;

  1. -As mass tourism is an important vector of pathogens, of Covid-19 among others, special liability can be invoked under the national law on propagation of illnesses (Art. 318.bis of the Criminal Code), the right of the home owners to check the sanitary hazards entering into their properties having been violated.

4. Consecutive civil law issuesThe person, physical or legal, who caused the damage, is obliged to compensate it.

A. Legal claims for compensation, individual and collective, direct or by way of regression, can be issued:

  1. a)In case of non-residential passage, with tour operator or not, by visitors, for damage:

physical, moral, to property, intentional tort, etc. resulting from legitimately assuming that you are in a public space while you are, in effect, in a genuinely private property, using a private access, this delusion been attributed to the misinformative advertising of private lands for public use and non-authorised transit to State regulated areas, mentioned above; for fines received in the Northern ice field and the national park; for non-acceptance into various agricultural properties and nature protected areas on the way; for absence of coverage by insurances, either personal or of the tour operators; for having bought a corrupted tourism product; for absence of means of communications; for absence of rescue coverage in case of accident; for attacks by any type of animals; for any other security issue, etc.

b) In case the rural land property rights have been affected, for:

appropriation and depletion of the resources of the owners of the rural and agricultural land, including the depreciation of value of land and degraded investments; as well as any type of damage resulting from treating private land as public, such as from tourism invasion and any fire started by them, from facilitation of sale of use of private land and resulting unjustified enrichment,  from non-solicited constructions in private land and nature protected areas, for damage to private access routes by heavy vehicles, etc. For harm to reputation (including for defamation) and violation of the right to image, forgery and fraud in documents.

In case of extensive use by tourism industry: Such cases would lead to compensation claims for the selling of the use of the land and of the image, with dividends, including the proceeds of the operations and savings resulting from them, as well as restitution of the use of the illegally appropriated estate (land) to the only use by its owner.

B. Depending on the case and type of damage, the claims would be addressed by the injured party to:

The origin of the installations which provide the misleading information:  Road service of the commune and /or the tourism committee ; the tour operator or the publicity of the industry who put you, knowingly, in this compromising situation; to the Rewilding foundation if you saw it in the passport of the Parks Route or similar documents. Contacts in their profiles.

The civil law claims for all above could be also addressed to the agency of a publication with false information such as the article in Ladera Sur , with regard to which the some procedures have started. The later applies also to the carretera-austral.cl , CA Social Media, a digital marketing agency from Santiago.

III. In the Project:

  1. Private property with private access routes.

  2. No responsibility or liability of the landowners and land stewards can be invoked at any time.

  3. In no case any liability for facilitating access to the national park can be invoked.

  4. Access to landowners, their visitors and public services only.

  5. Registered status of land: agricultural land, in rehabilitation.

  6. Strict nature reserve.

  7. No tourism business has rights in the project, tourists are not welcome. All data on tourists, cars and other similar events, individual or with tourism business operators, are transmitted to the management of the park on regular basis.

  8. The property is monitored with surveillance cameras and drones. The images are the property of the landowners and can be used at their judgement within the limits of the law.

  9. The landowners reserve the right to transmit the data of your passage to the legal authorities in case of damage.

  10. Any professional/commercial use of any device capable of photographing or filming, including drones, without explicit agreement by the landowners or land stewards (lawyers under the Real right of conservation) is prohibited, like in any private property or national park . The project reserves the right to take necessary legal measures for non‐observance of this rule and to invoke respective liability.

  11. The property does not have borders with fiscal land, the land is adjacent to the national park and other private properties.

  12. The road, built and repaired using only personal funds of the landowners, is being removed and the natural site restored, greatly due to irrespecutful tourism development. 

  13. The signposting was entirely done using only personal funds, for purposes of training of students in law.

  14. Any removal of wild fruits, plants or animals will be prosecuted by law. All active wildlife photography is banned.

Nature is not a playground, it works hard to survive.

Tourism is a large source of greenhouse gas emissions and input to climate change.pdf

2022: pollution from tourism and research increasing glaciers snowmelt.

The “no-trace” tourism is a lure,

the main trace is travel to the place and our mere presence in nature.

A study:  Tourists are not sensitive to sustainable criteria

Leaving more than footprints: impact of tourism in Chilean Patagonia

Disclaimers:                                                                                                Drug trafficking in national parks.

- The project is not and cannot be assigned to the regional ZOIT Chelenko, unlike shown on its map : a zone of the industry of tourism, a large tourism project implemented by private business, including in different types of private properties without prior consultation and agreement, in the 3 requisite zones of the biosphere reserve and in nature protected areas, and which has not been evaluated, so far, for an eventual environmental impact assessment as foreseen for large tourism projects by the regulations of the national EIA system.

  1. -The project is in no way related to the tourism business “Ruta Leon”, from Puerto Rio Tranquilo but promoted for operations in the valley and its properties, nor to its camping Ventisquero Leon. In no way can it share the liability for any initiative of these businesses (see example below) or their staff. Under no circumstances they have been granted any rights to develop any type of activities within the project, tourism or other. Under no circumstances they can represent the project anywhere. 

  2. -The tourism business which has been the most active in selling the use of land and investments of the landowners of the valley, to access the State protected area (Kalem), according to the monitoring of tourists’ passage through the project, is in no way associated with this project or benefits from any authorisation by it.

  3. -The project is in no way related to the refuges / Airbnb “valle Leones”.                  Airbnb and influencers are chasing locals

A private site-based legal monitoring programme was initiated in order to address this accountability and liability impasse, affecting nature and law enforcement, and diluting responsibilities.

Green growth’ doesn’t exist – less of everything is the only way to avert catastrophe

Trip financed by CIEP, National Geographic and Patagonia:

“In the habitat I am exploring the human is not welcome.

How can I prevent people from going here and destroy everything?”

Tourism is the second, after climate change,

cause of glaciers melting (SER Conference, Iceland, September 2018)

Disease outbreaks more likely in deforestation areas

Scientific tourism in the form of scientific research expeditions and biodiversity

assessments generally present risks for the ecosystem they study.