Argentina establishes The National System of Marine Protected Areas

Argentina establishes The National System of Marine Protected Areas 941 876 The Forum for the Conservation of the Patagonian Sea

On November 19, 2014, the House of Representatives of Argentina approved the Law that creates the National System of Marine Protected Areas in national waters. This is a new step forward of this country towards the establishment of institutions aimed at conserving ocean biodiversity in the long term.

The National System should encompass significant samples of every ecosystem type within the Exclusive Economic Zone. The new Law recognizes several management categories which are compatible with those by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) and includes objectives and allowed activities for each area. It states the obligation of approving and updating management plans. The Executive Power should designate a special authority for the enforcement of the new Act. Recently the Government established the first oceanic protected area of Argentina in Burdwood bank, which will continue under the authority of an ad-hoc committee.

The Argentine organizations that are members of the Forum for the Conservation of the Patagonian Sea have been advocating since long ago for the approval of this act. In May 2013 they submitted to the Senate a document with suggestions that encouraged the improvement of the original text. The bill was approved by the Senate in November 2013. After that, Sen. Mrs. Ruiz Díaz, author of the bill, sent a letter to the Forum acknowledging its work and commitment. In June 2014, Argentine members of the Forum started advocating again, this time asking the Representatives to promptly discuss the project in order to pass it definitely.