Workshop to identify Argentina’s marine ecosystemshttp://marpatagonico.org/wp-content/uploads/nkHyREmg2-scaled.jpg25601751The Forum for the Conservation of the Patagonian SeaThe Forum for the Conservation of the Patagonian Sea//marpatagonico.org/wp-content/uploads/logo-dark.png
• Scientists and government professionals participated in the “First Workshop for the Identification of Argentina’s Marine Ecosystems”, which was held virtually on December 15.
• The main goal of the process, which would conclude in 2021, is the development of a map of Argentina’s marine environments.
• This contribution will guide management and conservation actions and evaluate the ecological representativeness of the ecoregions within the Marine Protected Areas of the Argentine Sea.
Specialists from several disciplines and professionals from the National Directorate of Marine Protected Areas (National Parks Administration) and the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development were convened with the aim of thinking and defining a scientific-technical process to develop a map of the marine environments of Argentina based on the integration of all existing knowledge and background. This science-based input will be key to guide actions for the conservation of marine biodiversity and management of the responsible use of the Argentine Sea and will allow the evaluation of the ecological representativeness of the Marine Protected Areas (MPA), among other aspects.
The process of scientific-technical work associated with the workshop -and the generation of the resulting products- is based on the participation of scientists, government actors with responsibilities in the management of the sea, and civil society organizations, and will conclude in 2021.
The importance of identifying marine ecosystems and the challenges of representativeness
Currently, there is no reference map that describes a synthesis of the heterogeneity of Argentina’s marine environments, a key input that would allow guiding actions of marine spatial planning, ecosystem approaches for the use of fisheries resources, biodiversity conservation and representativeness analysis in the framework of current and future MPA. Although there is valuable scientific knowledge that could bring us closer to its development.
The different disciplines of knowledge have achieved different views about the regions of the Argentine Sea, the relationship between the distribution of species or assemblages of species, the physical characteristics of its waters, productivity, among other factors. The process proposed in the framework of the workshop allowed to begin to integrate these antecedents and the existing knowledge, with the goal of developing a unified map.
During the “First Workshop for the Identification of Marine Ecosystems in Argentina” the background of bioregional models at national, regional and international level was analyzed, and the possible development of a synthesis methodology was evaluated. This first workshop was a formal presentation of the initiative, and an invitation to participate in a process that will require more working meetings and the incorporation of other experts.
The Workshop was managed by WCS Argentina, as part of a project to contribute to the strengthening of MPA in the Patagonian Sea in the framework of the Forum for the Conservation of the Patagonian Sea, with the support of Oceans5. It counted with the expert contribution of Oscar Iribarne (INIDEP, UNMDP, CONICET), Marcelo Acha (UNMDP, CONICET), and Claudio Campagna and Valeria Falabella (WCS Argentina and Forum for the Conservation of the Patagonian Sea).