Skip to main content

CHILE DEBATES ESTABLISHMENT OF WORLD'S LARGEST WHALE SANCTUARY


Valparaiso, Oct. 16 - Environmentalists and politicians met Tuesday in Valparaiso to discuss the creation of the world's largest whale sanctuary. Representatives from 15 non-governmental organizations across Latin America presented the project to Chile's Senate Environmental Commission with the hopes of receiving governmental approval before the upcoming 60th annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) in Santiago on the 27th and 28th of June 2008.

"The goal of these meetings is to strengthen the determination of Latin America's civic organizations to seek out solutions to the environmental threats whales face," said Diego Taboada, director of the Whale Conservation Institute of Argentina, one of the sponsors of the event.

The Commission seemed supportive of the project but asked representatives to propose concrete steps for Congress to take to move forward with the plan.

Beatriz Bugeda, director of the International Fund for Animal Welfare in Latin America, replied that the project could become law through Presidential decree, bypassing Congress, as was done in Mexico when they designated their national waters a whale sanctuary in 2002.

Also present at the meeting was a representative of the Chilean small fisheries association who described local fishers as "desperately concerned" about the overall health of Chilean fisheries and supportive of any efforts to protect the whales.

"We totally agree with this ban," he said, "there is no disagreement about this among small fishermen. We need a national commission to study our oceans because we are losing resources we don’t even know we have."

Another sponsor, the Whale Conservation Center (CCC in Spanish), also pointed out some tangible economic benefits to creating a whale sanctuary in Chile. According to them, whale-watching as an industry has grown sharply over the past decades and currently earns 500 communities around the world US$ 1.2 billion a year. Because 50 percent of the world's whale species can be found in Chilean waters at some time of the year, the establishment of a sanctuary here could help position Chile as a top destination for whale-watching in the years to come.

Increasing tourism is a strategic goal for Chile and brought in US$1.5 billion in 2005. The CCC predicts that increased visits from whale-watchers could help stimulate tourism growth, especially in outlying regions receiving tourists.

However, Bugeda warned that the creation of the new sanctuary in Chile would not be enough unless there was a concerted effort by other nations to adopt similar measures to protect whales during their long migrations across the world's oceans. The group is trying to create a whale corridor throughout the Americas and hopes that Chile will set an example for other nations to follow.

Pressure is now on Chile's President Michelle Bachelet to consider the issue before the IWC meeting in 2008.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Moving to the Suburbs: Reducciones in Recent Latin American Historiography

In 1503, the Spanish monarchy issued its first decree for the resettlement of indigenous groups in the Caribbean so that they would “live together” and “not remain or wander separated from each other in the backcountry.”[1]

As the European conquest spread to North, Central, and South America, these new settlements – known as reducciones and congregaciones in Spanish and descimentos in Portuguese – became sites of forced labor, evangelism, experimental agricultural, and refuge. Through a series of imperial policies decreed over the next decades and centuries of colonial rule, Spanish and Portuguese officials attempted to reshape the New World, including its human and natural landscapes. How colonial historians explain this process and indigenous peoples’ reactions to it is the focus of this essay.

In a review of the recent historiography of reducciones, several trends emerge that signal a shift in our understanding of the practice. As this paper will show, one common element is that …

77-Year-Old Wall Street Favorite to Face Fujimori in Peru Runoff

By Nathan Gill and John Quigley April 12, 2016 (Bloomberg) -- The victory by Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, a former finance minister, for second place in Sunday’s Peruvian president elections sets up a showdown between two business-friendly candidates, part of a regional backlash against left-wing politicians.
Kuczynski, a 77-year-old Oxford-trained political economist who’s spent more than 50 years championing debt control and free trade, won 21 percent of vote with 96 percent of the ballots counted, according to the electoral office. He will face Keiko Fujimori, who won 39.8 percent, in a second-round vote on June 5.
Click here to read the full story on Bloomberg News.

Greetings From Gringolandia

Bloomberg Businessweek, March 28 — April 3, 2016
Susan Lamy and her husband, Jean Pierre, owned a successful interior design business in Westport, Conn., but they still worried about how they would make ends meet in retirement. “Just paying for the basic necessities was killing us, and we could see that there was no way that we would ever be able to stop working,” says Lamy. 
The search for an affordable retirement spot led the couple to Cuenca, a Unesco World Heritage site in Ecuador’s southern Andes. They settled there in 2013 and now live in a spacious apartment with a terrace overlooking the Yanuncay River. Lamy says she and her husband enjoy a high standard of living in Cuenca for around $2,500 a month, paid for by their Social Security checks: “This seemed to be the best possibility for having a really terrific life on a fixed income.” 
The combination of a subtropical climate, well-preserved colonial architecture, and low cost of living has made Cuenca a magnet for North Ameri…