The U.S. Embassy participated in the First Regional Conference on Marine Spatial Planning organized by The Wildlife Foundation – Argentina June 27-22.The workshop was sponsored by Pampa Azul, the Tourism Department of Chubut and the Embassy of the United States. U.S. Embassy ESTH (Environment, Science, Technology and Health) Officer, Mr. Frank Talluto, and three experts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) traveled to Comodoro Rivadavia to share their experiences with Argentine colleagues.In Argentina, government bodies are increasingly recognizing the need to improve the management of Argentine sea waters. The “Pampa Azul” initiative of Argentina’s Ministry of Science and Technology carries out a scientific research and promotion program that provides key elements for the strategic management of marine resources. As part of the “Pampa Azul” initiative, the Ministry created committees to manage research in priority areas such as the Gulf of Saint George, which served as the case-study for the workshop. “Pampa Azul” offers a unique opportunity to carry out integrated and coordinated planning of the Argentine Sea.
Civil society also recognizes the importance of integral management of the sea. The Wildlife Foundation – Argentina, in collaboration with the Forum for the Conservation of the Patagonian Sea and Areas of Influence, conducted a marine spatial planning pilot exercise as part of its policies in support of government initiatives related to the integral planning of the Argentine Sea.The workshop brought together more than 40 experts and public sector professionals from both the national and provincial levels involved in coastal and marine-related matters, as well as academics from various universities and research institutes, and representatives from several NGOs.