The MoU was signed by Dr. Bárbara Saavedra, Director of WCS’s Chile Program, Juan Larrain, Vice President of Research at UC Chile, and Michael Witherell, Vice Chancellor for Research at UCSB on Friday, September 24. The MoU provides a framework of collaboration in exchanging best practices in creating innovative marine management systems and new models of sustainable use. The intended result is a more efficient system of management for marine resources and enhanced enhancing marine conservation in the Southern Cone, or the southernmost nations in South America.
Chile has implemented a novel system of exclusive territorial use rights for utilization of marine resources, called management areas. Researchers at UC Chile played a central role in the generation and implementation of this model that integrates scientific knowledge and the fishing community into the management process, while their colleagues at UCSB have played a crucial role in the design and implementation of successful protected marine areas in California. WCS is leading a unique conservation initiative in Southern Chile at Karukinka, which serves as a natural laboratory for developing and testing new models for enhancing marine conservation in the Southern Cone.
“Conservation of marine areas depends on the efficient management of the resources we take from them, and to do so effectively requires collaboration,” said Avecita Chicchón, WCS’s Latin America and Caribbean Program Director. “WCS welcomes the opportunity to partner with the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and the University of California-Santa Barbara to make sure wildlife and wild places around the world are protected by good management practices.”
Specifically, the MoU identifies several potential areas of collaboration between WCS and the signatory universities, including:
WCS will contribute expertise gained from the Karukinka Project in Tierra del Fuego and 40 years of work on the Patagonian Atlantic coast in developing these innovative science-based conservation models and advancing new marine management plans in Chile and the Southern Cone.
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