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Laying the foundations for a Sustainable Blue Economy in Ecuador

In the framework of the MSPglobal pilot project in the Southeast Pacific, over 30 representatives of Ecuadorian governmental agencies and academia and of the Permanent Commission for the South Pacific (CPPS) participated in a training course in Guayaquil between 21 and 23 October 2019, with the objective to develop a roadmap for transboundary Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) and Sustainable Blue Economy for the region.

According to a SPINCAM ongoing study, Ecuador, together with Colombia and Chile, are the most advanced in the development of a national ocean strategy in the Southeast Pacific region.

“Ecuador considers all maritime activities and resources that promote political, economic and social benefits as national maritime interests,” said David Roberto Carranza Rueda from the General Directorate of Maritime Interests of the Ecuadorian Navy.

However, the region lacks an agreed common vision and strategy towards a Sustainable Blue Economy. As the MSPglobal pilot project in the Southeast Pacific aims to develop a regional roadmap for transboundary MSP and Sustainable Blue Economy, the training enabled participants to learn more about this concept

More specifically, MSPglobal is conducting a cross-border exercise in the Gulf of Guayaquil between Ecuador and Peru to advance the pre-planning phase of MSP. According to Juliana Monserrate Garcia Cuenca (Ministry of Production, Foreign Trade, Investments and Fisheries), a transboundary MSP process between the two countries could be beneficial for the sustainable exploration of the shared fishing resources in the area.

A meeting set up with fisheries, marine conservation and defense stakeholders provided the opportunity to review the data compiled by MSPglobal for the pilot case. Actors agreed to contribute new information, such as the distribution of industrial fishing fleet and mangrove areas with authorization for sustainable uses.

Further presentations covered topics such as MSP implementation in Ecuador’s marine and coastal zones, as well as stakeholder participation and data and information in MSP. The speakers and audience debated that MSP needs to be understood and developed as a long-term public policy rather than the policy of a specific government.

With the support of the Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the MSP Challenge game was used to simulate a planning process between three fictitious countries, during which participants were asked to define a 2030 vision, as well as objectives, indicators, actions and a list of key stakeholders that could be engaged in these hypothetical processes.

Organized jointly with the SPINCAM Project, the course received the support of Ecuador’s Navy and Ministry of Environment, as well as the Permanent Commission for the South Pacific (CPPS).

RELATED LINK:
  MSPglobal pilot project in the Southeast Pacific

CONTACT:
  MSPglobal.comm@unesco.org

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