The Forum celebrates the “Pampa Azul” (Blue Pampas) initiative, fostered by the Ministry for Science, Technology and Innovation, and announced by the President, Mrs. Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. The initiative will consist in a mid-term, extensive research program on the country’s marine ecosystem. Information obtained will be valuable input for marine spatial planning, establishment of marine protected areas and sustainable use of marine resources.
The Science Minister of Argentina, Dr. Lino Barañao, (second from the left) and members of the Forum for the Conservation of the Patagonian Sea during the launch of the “Blue Pampas” initiative.
Recently, Argentina started to implement marine conservation policies. The establishment of the first entirely-oceanic marine protected area in Burdwood Bank raised the protected surface to almost 3 % of total territorial sea and EEZ. The regional marine ecosystem, shared mainly with Uruguay and Chile, is being threatened increasingly by overfishing of several species, negative impacts of the hydrocarbon industry, alien species, pollution due to effluents and solid waste from the continent, shipping and climate change, among other factors.
The Forum member organizations are cooperating with the Argentine Government by means of projects such as the “Lighthouses of the Patagonian Sea” that offers a catalog on relevant sites for biodiversity throughout the region, based on sound science. The Ministry of Science is considering information provided by the Forum in the formulation of plans for the Blue Pampas initiative.