Participatory approach to Marine Protected Areas in the Argentinean Sea

Participatory approach to Marine Protected Areas in the Argentinean Sea 1200 900 The Forum for the Conservation of the Patagonian Sea
In order to identify challenges, opportunities and proposals for action related to the management of marine protected areas in Argentina, a participatory workshop was held in Buenos Aires on September 15 and 16, organized by the Forum for the Conservation of the Patagonian Sea and Areas of Influence.

The meeting was held at the headquarters of Aves Argentinas and was facilitated by the team of Fundación Cambio Democrático, both members of the Forum.

It began with a presentation by members of the Forum and the Coordination of Externally Funded Projects of the National Parks Administration, and then focused on the analysis and approach, in working groups, of three key aspects: the representativeness of Marine Protected Areas in maritime spaces under Argentine jurisdiction, effective governance, and the integration of fisheries policies and management plans in relation to marine protected areas.

The workshop was attended by members of the National Parks Administration (APN), Argentine Navy, Argentine Naval Prefecture, Naval Hydrographic Service, Secretariat of Strategic Affairs of the Presidency of the Nation, National Senate, Argentine Chamber of Fishing and Freezing Shipowners (C.A.Pe.C.A.), Argentine Chamber of Jigger Fishing Vessels Shipowners (CAPA), Argenova S.A., Estremar SAU, National Institute for Fisheries Research and Development (INIDEP), National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET), National University of Patagonia San Juan Bosco (UNPSJB), Argentine Museum of Natural Sciences, Aves Argentinas, Fundación Cambio Democrático, Fundación Vida Silvestre, Wildlife Conservation Society Argentina (WCS), and consultants from the Forum for the Conservation of the Patagonian Sea.

This diversity of backgrounds and approaches enriched the debate about the different points of view regarding MPAs.

The search for funding, coordination of governance actions, training, strengthening the participation of the sectors involved, access to information and consensus building in decision-making were some of the aspects identified as essential in the three areas addressed.

“I consider this meeting as a new milestone in the memory that we are jointly building in relation to Marine Protected Areas”, highlighted Andrea Michelson, coordinator of the Forum, which gathers 23 organizations from the country, Chile, Uruguay, Brazil and international organizations.

At the end of the workshop, short and medium-term alternatives were analyzed, which will be included in a workshop summary document. The participants valued the opportunity for reflection, the understanding of different and common perspectives through dialogue, and the collaboration opportunities identified for strengthening marine protected areas.

The meeting was held in the framework of the project “Marine Protected Areas of Patagonia: improving coverage of the full range of marine diversity”, implemented by the Forum with the support of Oceans 5.

Fragility and protection

According to Law 27.037 that creates the National System of Marine Protected Areas (SNAMP), marine protected areas are natural spaces established for the protection of ecosystems, communities or biological or geological elements of the marine environment, including the subsoil, seabed and associated marine columns, which due to their rarity, fragility, importance or uniqueness, deserve special protection for the use, education and enjoyment of present and future generations.

These federal maritime areas under Argentine jurisdiction are intended to protect areas of the sea with high diversity (from invertebrates to marine mammals), or that are home to threatened species, and areas that are important sites for the breeding and spawning of fish of high commercial value.

The National Parks Administration is the implementing authority of the SNAMP, a system that includes two protected areas, Yaganes and Namuncurá/Burdwood I and II MPAs.

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