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Towards a commitment of Argentina in the conservation of the ocean

A group of civil society organizations promotes greater protection of the ocean ecosystem through the creation of National Marine Parks. These would be relevant areas for restoring fisheries, protecting emblematic species and collaborating in adaptation to climat change


The ocean represents 36% of the Argentine territory. However, only about 3% is protected. Argentina has 61 protected coastal-marine areas, with only one strictly marine area, Namuncurá - Burdwood Bank, located in national waters. On the basis of scientific information, a group of eleven civil society organizations in our country have recently requested the Government to promptly intervene to create at least five new marine protected areas in open water under the theme " It´s the time of the ocean: National Marine Parks ".

Marine protected areas ("Marine National Parks" and other legal entities) are important tools for sustainable management of the sea in the long term. There are different types of marine protected areas; in some of them human activities are allowed, such as low-impact fisheries, and in others only scientific research is carried out. It is important that some sectors have strict protection, without extractive uses, to provide shelter areas for living species and base lines for the management of the rest of the sea. In other countries evidence has been found that stricter protected areas contribute to the restoration of fisheries.

The United Nations recognizes the importance of the protection of the sea by convening the New York Ocean Conference, which is being held these days and ends on 9 June. Several National Government agencies met a few days ago in Argentina in the "National Consultation of Oceans and National System of Marine Protected Areas" to analyze the best way to increase the coverage of marine protected areas and protect the interests of the country.

Previous governments have made some important progress, but more speed and decision is required to mitigate the damage that unsustainable practices and illegal fishing by foreign vessels are doing to our sea. Argentina is a signatory to the Convention on Biological Diversity and in turn adheres to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, thereby pledging to protect at least 10% of the sea area by 2020. In addition, in December 2014, Law 27037 was created, which establishes the National System of Marine Protected Areas. This Act still awaits its regulation to be complied with, including the appointment of a suitable authority. In 2016, the Ministry of Environment initiated the process to regulate it, with formal participation of the National Parks Administration. The corresponding Decree has not yet been signed.

World Oceans Day was established by the United Nations in 2008 to raise awareness of the importance of the marine ecosystem in our lives and to help society engage in its conservation. In Argentina, the following civil society organizations have come together to promote a campaign for the creation of National Marine Parks: Aves Argentinas, The Conservation Land Trust, Fundación Aquamarina, Fundación Ambiente y Recursos Naturales, Fundación Flora y Fauna Argentina, Fundación Patagonia Natural, Fundación Temaikèn, Fundación Vida Silvestre Argentina, Global Penguin Society, Instituto de Conservación de Ballenas y Wildlife Conservation Society. Citizens can express their support by leaving their signature on the web site www.llegolahoradelmar.com Several thousand people have already signed.

 

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/parquesnacionalesmarinos/

 

 

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