June 12, 2017 #SustainableChile #Science and Knowledge.

Chile increases its Marine Protected Areas

During the last United Nations World Ocean Conference, Chile was highlighted for its constant and sustained work over time to try to exponentially increase the network of ocean areas under protection. In the context of this same conference, it was defined that the main threats that our waters are facing are: the increasing acidification of the seas, pollution caused by plastic waste and finally illegal, unreported or unregulated fishing. Threats that the country has gradually taken charge of curbing through the creation of protected areas and related policies.

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According to the site AquaChile has also been concerned about positioning the preservation and protection of maritime areas as a way to combat global warming: "The ocean is a sink for greenhouse gases (GHG). That is why, together with other countries, including France and Monaco, we led a declaration called 'Because The Ocean' so that the discussion of the Paris Agreement would include, as it did, the conservation of the oceans as one of the tools to combat climate change". Thus making clear the importance of this issue at the national level.

Following the line of work proposed at the United Nations World Conference on Oceans, a decision has been made to create two new Marine Parks and Protected Areas, the first in the Juan Fernández Archipelago, the second in the Juan Fernández Archipelago, and the third in the Juan Fernández Archipelago. Juan Fernández Archipelago Archipelago of 13,190 km2, and the second at Cape Horn e Diego Ramirez Islandswith 100,000 km2. In this way, Chile would become a world leader in conservation in this field with one million square kilometers of protected oceans.

Today in Chile there are three types of protected maritime zones or with some type of protection: Marine Reserves, which correspond to smaller zones whose purpose is to protect species of research or fishing interest; Marine and Coastal Areas, which protect ecosystems or defined habitats, but at the same time allow the extraction of resources in a sustainable manner; and finally Marine Parks, where protection is total and no extraction of natural resources is allowed. The only exception to this last classification would be fishing or extraction in traditional communities, which is why the creation of a Marine Park in the Rapa Nui sector is also being evaluated. Rapa Nui and its surroundings.
In addition to this world leadership initiative, Chile will host the next International Congress on Marine Protected Areas. International Marine Protected Areas Congress, IMPAC4. Organized and inaugurated recently by the Ministry of the Environment and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The congress will be attended by managers and experts in marine conservation from around the world, with the common goal of reaffirming the management of oceanic protected areas and ensuring the preservation of ecosystems and biodiversity worldwide.

In this regard, Marcelo Mena, Minister of the Environment, said: "It is a unique opportunity to have a congress of global impact in Chile. It is the first time that an event of this magnitude is held in a Latin American country, and Chile was chosen precisely because of the close relationship of its community with the sea and its rich biodiversity and endemism".

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