Management planning workshop for Argentina's Humedales Chaco

Management planning workshop for Argentina's Humedales Chaco

8 September 2004

Press release


More than 70 participants, among them technicians, civil servants, researchers, producers, fisherfolks, teachers, students and NGOs representatives - Conclusions will set the basis for a management plan in the region.

Resistencia, Chaco, 2 September 2004.- Today it was carried out the First Participatory Workshop on Ramsar Site Management "Humedales Chaco", designated for the Ramsar List last February. This workshop counted on the participation of producers, fisherfolks, ecotourism representatives, technicians, teachers, public employees and NGOs members.

It was attended by planning key stakeholders for the development of a management plan for the new Ramsar Site. Local settlers, management responsibles, producers, researchers and NGOs shared opinions and experiencies to reach a strategic plan enabling the conciliation of the socioeconomic development of the region with conservation aims of the area.

The Natural Resources holder of Chaco, Eng. Bruno Schwesig, opened the workshop emphasizing the interest of different sectors for the development of a management plan for the brand new Ramsar Site. Afterwards, Professor Susy Gutiérrez, Dirección de Fauna, Parques y Ecología, introduced the main characteristics of the Site, which is at present among the List of Wetlands of International Importance.

On the other hand, Julieta Peteán, PROTEGER Wetlands and Fishing Programme Coordinator, explained the guidelines of the Ramsar Convention to develop management plans and the main aspects to be taken into account for the planning process.

"It is essential for all the stakeholders to be aware of the environmental services offered by this striking system and to consequently adopt these elements for their own plans of development. Functions and aims of the Site must be incorporated to development plans and municipal, provincial and regional normatives", pointed out Peteán.

"It is vital to develop this tool of support for management, setting up policies, aims, actions and strategies to define how to make a sustainable use of the resources of one of the largest biodiversity regions in Argentina", she concluded.

The participants carried out, in groups, a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) of the Ramsar Site Humedales Chaco. From this work arise emerging points to take into account from the very beginning regarding the planning of the management area.

Among the weaknesses and threats were mentioned the alteration of natural systems due to the expansion of the agrarian frontier, emphasizing the poor experience on fire management, and the consequent biodiversity loss; resources overuse; poverty and lack of coordination among other Ramsar Sites jurisdictions.

Among the opportunities and strengths, it was stressed the commitment of NGOs, Chaco Government and other conservation and wise use institutions; the biodiversity of the site; landscape and native cultures revaluation; and the possibility of improving life quality by means of added value sustainable production and ecotourism.

The workshop took place at the Consejo Profesional de Agrimensores, Arquitectos e Ingenieros and organized by the Ministerio de la Producción del Chaco, la Subsecretaría de Recursos Naturales y Medio Ambiente, la Dirección de Fauna, Parques y Ecología, and Fundación PROTEGER-Amigos de la Tierra, Argentina.


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Related story. Workshop on the Paraguay and Paraná wetlands corridor. On 3 September, Fundación PROTEGER and the Subsecretaría de Recursos Naturales y Ambiente del Chaco met with teachers, students, public employees, producers, fisherfolks, NGO representatives and native communities, among different social stakeholders, for a workshop in Los Palmas on the banks of the Paraguay River, in the site of the Humedales Chaco Ramsar Site, for a workshop on further Ramsar Site designations on the Paraguay and Paraná rivers' wetlands corridor. Here is a brief report on that workshop as well, with a link to the Spanish version. [09/09/04]