Friday, August 26, 2016

Chile to create largest marine reserve in Americas

Chile has announced the creation of the largest marine reserve in the Americas, the 300,000-square-kilometer Nazca Desventuradas Marine Park.

"There is a biodiversity that merits protection," Foreign Minister Heraldo Munoz said Wednesday in announcing the presidential decree to protect the area.

The reserve features two pristine islands, San Ambrosio and San Felix, home to a wide variety of endemic marine plant and animal species.

The decree calls for the creation of the Council of Ministers for Oceanic Policy composed by the heads of the ministries of defense, environment and economy.

"We are an oceanic country and sometimes it seems as if we live with our backs to the sea. We have the responsibility to conserve and use the ocean in a sustainable manner for present and future generations," said Munoz.

The new council is to work with government agencies, private sectors, universities, research centers and fishermen to devise a long-term conservation policy.

Previously, Chilean President Michelle Bachelet has announced the marine reserve plan at an international conference on oceans.

The reserve will "triple the maritime territory" that Chile has under protection, Environment Minister Pablo Badenier said.

Oceana, a non-governmental organization that promotes marine conservation, welcomed the announcement.

"At a time when the oceans are suffering from over exploitation of species, pollution and climate change, the protection of these islands represent a major step for Chile," said Director of Oceana Lisbeth van der Meer.
 [china.org.cn]
26/8/16

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