Discovering the Gulf of Guayaquil with the local community

The first in a series of MSPglobal engagement activities with local stakeholders was held in January 2019 in the Gulf of Guayaquil to gain a better understanding of the main maritime activities and issues at stake in this cross-border area between Ecuador and Peru.

The stakeholders were randomly selected from the two ports visited, representing mainly the fisheries and tourism sectors as well as the local population. Interviews were organised in two different locations: Puerto Bolívar (El Oro Province, Ecuador) and Puerto Pizarro (Tumbes Region, Peru) on the 19th and 20th of January 2019 respectively.

The mission was intended to inform and communicate about the MSPglobal pilot case in the Southeast Pacific region (Work Package 3) with the goal of comprehending the specific settings of the Gulf of Guayaquil. The questions focused on:

  • Identifying drivers (marine issues) for MSP;
  • Identifying cross-border issues;
  • Mapping key stakeholder platforms;
  • Gaining a better understanding of the local setting to aid in the planification of future engagement activities (e.g., potential sites for events and stakeholder meetings; type of engagement activities).

Participants voluntarily provided information about current conditions (uses and conflicts; environmental; social and cultural issues) relating to the Gulf of Guayaquil in a lively discussion and interaction. In Puerto Bolívar, for example, representatives of the Rafael Moran Valverde Cooperative explained the tourism boat activities, which are held by two different associations that in the high season perform up to 60 trips per day to visit mainly the mangroves. On the other hand, in Puerto Pizarro, three fisheries associations were mapped and fishermen discussed the main challenges they face daily, such as high competition, piracy and marine pollution.

The MSPglobal Team went back home with lots of positive feedback from the participants in relation to the MSPglobal Initiative. None of the stakeholders interviewed had participated in any other project about marine planning and management; the key actors identified will be invited to participate in a local stakeholder meeting that will take place in the coming months in the Gulf of Guayaquil.

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