Marine Protected Areas, pollution of seas and coastal areas, and salmon farming were some of the themes discussed by the near 40 representatives from more than 20 civil society organizations from Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Uruguay from the integrated approach proposed by the Forum for the Conservation of the Patagonian Sea. The meeting took place during the 16th plenary session of the network, from 6 to 9 November in Mar del Plata.
Members of the organizations that integrate the Forum for the Conservation of the Patagonian Sea, gathered at the XVI Plenary Session.
«To align and join efforts are two basic conditions of the Forum. We were born when we realized that the goals of marine conservation are so challenging that no organization could address them effectively on it own”, said Claudio Campagna, President of the Forum for the Conservation of the Patagonian Sea.
For 14 years, members of the Forum have held annual meetings in order to achieve its role: to align civil society organizations concerned with marine conservation, specifically over the Patagonian Sea.
This year, the main themes were the creation of marine protected areas and their effective management, the risks and impacts of salmon farming -growing in Chile and incipient in Argentina-, the evaluation of species, illegal fishing and marine pollution.
They outlined strategies common to two or more countries and drew courses of action for approaching issues effectively from the civil society in alliance with other sectors, such as governments, communities, companies, research institutes and the academic sector. Considering the situation in Argentina, where a bill to establish two new MPAs that would triple the marine protected area could lose parliamentary status in the coming weeks, local organizations pronounced themselves through the Mar del Plata Declaration.
Considering the challenge that harmonizing Marine Protected Areas with other human activities represents, a Seminar on Fisheries and Marine Protected Areas, with guests from Argentina and Chile, was organized within the framework of the meeting, where fishing companies, researchers, authorities, students, civil society organizations and the media were also invited.
Regional Approach and Networking
During this new meeting, around 40 specialists from 23 organizations from Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and Brazil, spent four days talking about common projects and new initiatives of the organizations regarding the conservation of the Patagonian Sea.
The Forum’s target area includes an extensive sector of the ocean that surrounds the Southern Cone, including parts of the exclusive economic zones of Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile and the surrounding international waters. «Marine currents and movements of the fauna that inhabits the seas also transcend political limits. Therefore, in order to promote marine conservation and preserve the value of the seas, we need to think regionally and promote the cooperation among different people, organizations, scientists and authorities», explains Alexandra Sopoznikow, Forum Coordinator.
AquaMarina, Antartic Research Trust, Aves Argentinas, Baleia Jubarte Institute, Birdlife International, Cethus Foundation, Costa Humboldt, FARN, Vida Silvestre Argentina Foundation, Global Penguine Society, Andean Greenpeace, Whale Conservation Institute, National Geographic Pristine Seas, Nucleus of Education and Environmental Monitoring (NEMA), Conservation Organization of Cetaceans, Healthy Oceans, Pew Chile, Projeto Albatroz, Temaiken Foundation, Wildlife Conservation Society and the World Wildlife Fund were the organizations that took part in this meeting.