21.04.2014

The President introduced the Pampa Azul Initiative

This is the first national inter-ministerial action which aims to deepen scientific knowledge as a basis for conservation policies and management of natural resources in the Argentine Sea.

The President introduced the Pampa Azul Initiative

De Vido, Capitanich, Fernández de Kirchner, Kicillof and Barañao, during the presentation of the initiative.

The President of Argentina, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, together with the Minister of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation, Lino Barañao, launched today the Pampa Azul Initiative from the Pink House. A videoconference was also carried out from the Puerto Deseado vessel in the city of Mar del Plata where the mayor of the city of Mar del Plata, Gustavo Pulti participated together with the CONICET President, Roberto Salvarezza; the director of the CENPAT, Mirta Lewis; the Puerto Deseado’s commander, Lucio López and the scientific coordinator of the Coriolis II, José Luis Esteves; among other authorities.

In this framework, the President said that "for the first time we will go to the Argentine Sea not only to swim and fish but to investigate our fishing resources with a strategic objective" and she added that Pampa Azul "must become State policy to be continued by all governments since in the sea are our food resources".

During the communication the presence in Mar del Plata of the Comodoro Rivadavia, Oca Balda, Holmberg and Thompson Vessels was noted. The president stressed that "this project is not only performed by the Ministry of Science, it is the result of the joint work of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Worship; Agriculture and Fisheries; Tourism; Defense; Security; Environment and Sustainable Development".

Pampa Azul is a strategic initiative from which research which will be held in the Argentine Sea contributing to deepen scientific knowledge as a basis for conservation and management of natural resources. The initiative will promote technological innovations applicable to the sustainable exploitation of natural resources and the development of industries related to the sea, strengthening Argentina’s maritime conscious, supporting with data and scientific presence our sovereignty in the South Atlantic.

Pampa Azul provides for a 10-year line of work and outlines interdisciplinary scientific surveys covering five areas identified as priorities, using traditional shelves such as oceanographic vessels and unmanned underwater vehicles; technological development in remote sensors and other methods for environmental monitoring, management and resource protection by automated in- situ and satellite records; and development of capacities to build and maintain databases with continuous and public records.

Priority areas comprising the initiative are: Burdwood-Namuncurá Bank; the Blue Hole on the continental slope; the San Jorge Gulf; sub-Antarctic zones, including the maritime spaces of South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands and the River Plate estuary. Several research vessels will conduct various oceanographic campaigns, where projects related to the study of these areas will be carried out. Vessels involved in the missions up to date include:

- RV Coriolis II (February 2014):

- Blue Hole and San Jorge Gulf.

- SB-15 Tango (February 2014):

- Burdwood - Namuncurá Bank.

- Dr. Holmberg (April 2014):

- South Georgia.

Puerto Deseado (January to April 2014):

- Antarctic Campaign.

Argentina's continental shelf and adjacent ocean waters are an important source of food, regulate continental climate and capture greenhouse gases. While the global ocean has underwent significant warming leading to sea level rise and contributes to the changing of winds and rainfall patterns, the southern sector of the continental shelf has a slight cooling, whose causes and consequences on the ecosystem are still unknown. Given the importance of the region is urgent to initiate studies leading to a better understanding of environmental changes and its impact on marine species and regional climate, to understand the mechanisms controlling local environmental conditions and their impact on production and diversity biological.

Pampa Azul is coordinated by the Ministry of Science Technology and Productive Innovation through the Science and Technology Cabinet (GACTEC). With the participation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship; the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries; the Ministry of Tourism; the Ministries of Defense and Security; and the Secretariat of Environment and Sustainable Development.

Other institutions involved are the National Council for Scientific and Technical Research (CONICET); the National Antarctic Directorate (DNA); the National Space Activities Commission (CONAE ); the National Institute of Fishing Development (INIDEP); the Naval Hydrographic Service (SHN); the Naval Prefecture Argentina; the Austral Center for Scientific Research (CADIC - CONICET); the National Patagonian Center (CENPAT -CONICET); the Argentine Institute of Oceanography (IADO-CONICET/UNS); the Marine and Coastal Research Institute (IIMyC -CONICET); the Research Center of Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (CIMA-CONICET/UBA); the Institute of Fisheries and Marine Biology Almirante Storni (UNCO); the National University of Comahue; the National University of Patagonia San Juan Bosco; the National University of Tierra del Fuego, Antarctica and South Atlantic Islands; the National University of Southern Patagonia; the National University of Mar del Plata; the National University of the South; the National University of La Plata and the University of Buenos Aires.

It is noteworthy that the Ministry includes in its "National Plan for Science, Technology and Innovation, Argentina Innovadora 2020" a number of initiatives related to the promotion of research and technological development related to the sea exploration and use. Within the 35 strategic socio-productive cores identified in the Plan is the "Production and Processing of ocean resources", which aims to increase knowledge of Argentine marine resources from a productive perspective with a commitment to promote the development of sustainable activities based on innovation.

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The President introduced the Pampa Azul Initiative

De Vido, Capitanich, Fernández de Kirchner, Kicillof and Barañao, during the presentation of the initiative.

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