Alejandro Vila, Forum president
The year is going away, by drawing images and leaving samples of the strength of our network. As when the waves withdraw from the coastline and paint figures on the beach on their way back to the sea, revealing the presence and movement of numerous forms of life. Following the trajectory and end of 2021, I am happy to see how much could be built from our synergistic and collaborative work. I find a law that prohibits the entry of salmon farming in the province of Tierra del Fuego (Argentina), for which the Forum has been mobilized since 2018, and with the active participation of our network in the first public hearing on seismic exploration (Argentina), for which a high-quality technical document was developed and is to be released soon. I see lines of work related to the creation and management of marine protected areas (MPAs) that allowed us to open conversations with legislators and authorities of Chile and Argentina, such as the meetings held with the governor of Magallanes in Chile and the Technical Committee of Marine Protected Areas from the same country. The MPA webinars also allowed us to share experiences with authorities and academics from Brazil and Uruguay, and thus expand the regional perspective. Finally, the rapid response to the emergencies that occurred on the foam that this wave of conservation was leaving behind, mobilized joint positions against the destruction of nests of Magellanic penguins in Punta Tombo and the mining zoning law in Chubut Province (Argentina ). All these traces of the withdrawal of 2021 lead me to think that, beyond the pandemic, our network is strengthened and aimed at mobilizing us to be a sea of people with an oceanic outlook. I celebrate with you so much effort and commitment, wishing you the best for the wave of 2022.
Diego Taboada, Forum vice president
It has been a year since the executive group has changed, and we have achieved the collective construction of the “Strategic Living Agenda”, which provides a clear picture of the lines of work to be strengthened.
The lines of work focused on awareness, training, advocacy and especially the marine observatory are key to addressing environmental problems, efficiently and effectively, by articulating the network.
Undoubtedly, the group of organizations that make up the Forum for the Conservation of the Patagonian Sea and Areas of Influence have managed to face the challenges of working virtually, strengthening cooperation and developing strategies with numerous organizations.
Regarding the new year that begins, we will reunite in a face-to-face plenary meeting and we will continue to prepare joint projects that minimize the impact of productive activities on biodiversity and marine ecosystems. For instance, the Clean Patagonian Sea Working Group has consolidated dialogues and opened work spaces with the fishing sector to address the problem of marine plastic pollution.The circular economy is proposed as a way forward to prevent the impacts of nets, ropes and other plastic waste from fisheries operations.
My best wishes for 2022 are addressed to all of us who integrate this interdisciplinary and regional working group, where I am sure lies one of the most robust marine conservation movements from the Southern Cone.
Andrea Michelson, Forum coordinator
We are close to the end of a second year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the global context and the deep crisis that the countries and territories from this region are facing, the network continues to consolidate and adapt its marine conservation strategies. We have proved that we are resilient and creative enough to reinvent ourselves, and redirect our bond and alliance in a sea of growing complexity.
My perspective and wish is that the net that we sowed and nurtured, continues to be flexible yet steady. May the network bring out your best side and continue to produce positive changes for our marine ecosystems. I wish you a 2022 with more days of feet, heads and hearts in our Patagonian Sea.
Daniela Castro, Chilean node coordinator
The year 2021 has passed with rapprochement and a lot of joint work. In Chile, the new year seems promising in many respects. More than ever it will be necessary to put our collective intelligence to work for the objectives that bring us together for the conservation of our sea and the well-being of our communities.
Warm greetings and best wishes for next year.
Santiago Krapovickas, coordinator on marine protected areas project
In 2021, the Chilean and Argentinean organizations of the Forum worked together to promote the marine protected areas (MPAs) of the Patagonian Sea, thanks to the support of our donors, Oceans 5 and The David & Lucile Packard Foundation.
Some of the achievements were:
– We maintained collaborative work processes to promote MPAs, involving the authorities of each country, scientists and private sector stakeholders.
– We inspired new bills to strengthen the areas.
– We raise awareness about the need to protect marine biodiversity, emphasizing the power of collaboration, dialogue and conflict transformation as means to achieve this.
– Hundreds of people and prominent public officials attended webinars on these subjects.
– We increased the series of specialized publications of the Forum, with three technical reports and five documents for decision makers, prepared in a collaborative way and with high quality.
– We got involved with members from Brazil and Uruguay to exchange information on marine protected areas and to organize joint activities.
Today we celebrate these results and thank those who participated, with the certainty that we can achieve much more if we continue together. Have a nice New Year’s Eve parties together with your loved ones!
Alexandra Sapoznikow, Academic Coordinator School of Management MPAs
We hope that in 2022 the Marine Protected Areas Management School will be installed as a continuous training program for the Southern Cone. I wish that links are established with other training programs in the world, to create and strengthen a community of practice among managers in order to improve the management effectiveness of marine protected areas.