Planning and Implementation of Coastal/Marine Protected Areas in Patagonia, Argentina: Proposing Alternatives to Solve Critical Aspects

Pablo García-Borboroglu

Through the work of this project the aim is to attend and make a presentation at the International Penguin Conference to be held in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia. September 2007.

The International Penguin Conference.

The International Penguin Conference.

It is widely accepted that design and implementation of coastal and marine protected areas (CMPA) should integrate biodiversity conservation, fisheries sustainability, tourism, education, recreational and cultural objectives, considering the socioeconomic context and community values. Participatory planning is an important tool for success. However, in Latinoamerica past dictatorial governments delayed citizen involvement in public issues. Our goal was to analyze international recommendations for successful planning and implementation in CMPA, including penguin colonies, within the Patagonian coastal zone based on the authors experience in planning processes coordination , and proposing alternatives to solve critical aspects. Crucial identified aspects include: political support, stakeholders involvement, inclusion of science, effective design, efficient governability, and regular monitoring.

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Social aspects that affect stakeholders involvement (acceptability, ignorance of CMPA benefits and limitations, opposed positions that difficult consensus, mistrust in participatory processes, late invitation of key stakeholders) require particular strategies for its resolution (sensitization, information, processes based on rational negotiation, transparence from the beginning). Political instability, government vertical structure, and dilution of responsibility require the construction of a social mesh during the planning process that can hold the objectives beyond the government changes, the generation of co-management agencies , and the clear definition of roles, respectively. Finally, the resolution of environmental problems lies within the social field, where the post-normal science is the best approach to address these challenges.

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We will attend and present our work at the International Penguin Conference, a very important event where many experts from all over the world meet to treat subjects related to all penguin species including the conservation of terrestrial and oceanic habitats used by them. Charismatic species like penguins can be used as flagship species to promote the creation of Protected Areas (PA) that are beneficial to many other marine species. The goal is to share and discuss effective strategies with colleagues working mainly in South America, Africa and Antarctica helping to strengthen the creation of Marine Protected Areas.

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