On October 5 and 6, the second version of the Our Ocean Conference was held in Chile. Close to 400 representatives from different nations attended the event, including people from the political, social and academic world related to environment preservation and, particularly, to the protection of the ocean. The city of Valparaiso was responsible for hosting the event, highlighted by the many environmental commitments and agreements made on the matter.
The first version of this conference was held in 2014 in Washington D.C, where the resulting agreements were examined by the delegations in the recent appointment in Valparaiso. Among the participants were the U.S’ Secretary of State, John Kerry, Prince Albert of Mónaco and Sylvia Earle, the marine biologist whose voice can be heard in the new Chilean documentary called “Voces del Mar”, which was shown during the conference.
The purpose of the event is to generate and socialize the solutions for the major threats against the ocean’s stability as an ecosystem and to protect its biological species. Threats such as illegal fishing, plastic pollution, ocean acidification and its relation to climate change, among others. Likewise, it encourages the creation of protected ocean areas, a key strategy in terms of marine preservation. “This is an enormous opportunity for Chile, to reveal the efforts we have made and to contribute to the global duty of protecting our oceans”, said Heraldo Muñoz, one of the hosts of the event.
Among the announcements involving our country, the construction -through citizen consultation – of the world’s biggest marine park in Eastern Island is what stands out the most. Moreover, a Supreme Decree which establishes the measurements for fighting illegal fishing was announced, next to a signed document which adds Chile to the UN‘s agreement on highly migratory marine species. The agreements will be examined and approved by the ends of next November at the climate change convention to be held in Paris.