Minister Heraldo Muñoz at the Ocean Conference held at United Nations headquarters. (Photo: Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores)
One million km2 of Chilean sea to become 'completely protected'
Friday, June 09, 2017, 00:20 (GMT + 9)
In the framework of this week's Oceans Conference held at United Nations headquarters in New York, Foreign Minister Heraldo Muñoz announced that Chile will add two new parks and/or protected marine areas, added to the Marine Park Nazca-Desventuradas announced in 2016.
One of the new parks is the archipelago Juan Fernandez, of almost 480,000 km2 and the biggest in Latin America; and the other at Cabo de Hornos and Islas Diego Ramirez, which is 100,000 km2.
The Chilean foreign minister stressed that with this measure, Chile "will reach the historic figure of 1 million km2 of its sea that will become completely protected", becoming "a world leader in marine conservation."
The minister also indicated that the consultation process has already started with Rapa Nui community to establish a Coastal Protected Marine Area of Multiple Uses or any other alternative around the island. Along the same lines, he recalled that Chile currently has 463,000 km2 in 33 marine protected areas, eight of which have the status of Marine Park.
In his words there was a special mention for the community of Juan Fernandez. "This archipelago today is an example of sustainable fishing is possible, its practices can be replicated by other communities, contributing to the commitment to sustainability and the fight against illegal fishing in our seas," said the chancellor.
During his speech, Minister Muñoz also stressed that Chile is implementing a policy aimed at preventing, deterring and eliminating illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.
"Today this illegal activity is presented as the third international business of illegal character with greater profitability," he said, adding that Chile is in the process of implementing New York Agreement on the population of straddling and highly migratory fish, to which it adhered last year.
With regard to international ocean governance, he stressed that Chile will continue to push for its strengthening.
"Together with the region and within the framework of the G77 + China bloc, we are negotiating a third Implementation Agreement of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, known as Convemar, to regulate the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, beyond national jurisdictions," he said.
The Chancellor concluded by emphasizing that Chile is working on the generation of its national Ocean Policy, for which President Michele Bachelet convened a Council of Ministers whose role will be to create an instrument that will positively inspire decision-making in this area.
"This tool should seek to harmonize and give coherence to oceanic matters, catalyzing State action with civil society and the private sector to, among others, comply with the Sustainable Development Objectives, No. 14, in 2030," concluded. Muñoz.