|Continent||Central and Latin America|
|Categories||Cetaceans, Ecotourism, Marine|
|Date||4 May 2016|
The official status of national ‘sanctuary’ provides an important framework for minimising the impacts of unsustainable development for Uruguay’s coastal-marine environment. The next step is to analyse the impact caused by certain activities over the short to medium-term (1-5 years), alongside measures to mitigate collisions with large ships, contaminating pollutants and heavy metals, noise pollution and opportunistic tourism.
Responsible and sustainable whale watching (WW) is another useful tool, and it is necessary to continue reinforcing and applying good practice and marine regulations on WW. This includes training and monitoring of the certifications (eco-tourism) awarded by MINTUR, MVOTMA and OCC in 2015 (thanks by RSG support). To date, best practice protocols were delivered to 4 marine tourism companies; it is estimated that 75% of the 50 practices are being applied.
This project will enable follow-up, adaptation of marine traffic recommendations, and monitoring of their implementation to avoid collisions. New signage, designed with community and authority involvement, will be placed in strategic port facilities. Local participation and governance in conservation issues will be reflected in actions and complaints in cases of negative impacts and other marine conservation issues. School-children will take draft community-based management plans direct to the Uruguayan parliament, marking citizen influence on policy-making and regulation.
Furthermore, the sanctuary positions Uruguay internationally as promoting responsible tourism and sustainable WW. The project includes a regional focus, articulating with Brazil’s own sanctuary for whales and dolphins through increased networking, sharing, joint actions, and the 'twinning' between sanctuaries. It will also enable Uruguay to lobby at the IWC (October 2016, Slovenia) on the voting for international waters of the South Atlantic to be declared a sanctuary for whales.
Read about Rodrigo's previous project http://www.rufford.org/projects/rodrigo_garcia_pingaro or for more information contact: