Francisco Alvarez

Francisco Alvarez

Head of Science and Innovation (Chile) part of Global Science and Innovation Network

Part of Global Science and Innovation Network

14th November 2017 Santiago, Chile

UK and Chile, Two Maritime Nations Betting to Protect the Ocean

Overseas Territories' Marine Protected Areas Map

With 3 000 miles of coastline, anything to do with the sea is important for Chile. Chile is showing a growing interest and leadership on many ocean issues including marine research and conservation, sustainable fisheries and security. Foreign Minister Heraldo Muñoz personally led Chile’s initiative to host the international ‘Our Ocean’ conference in Oct 2015 and announced the creation of a new Ocean Policy Council to address challenges facing ocean sustainability, security and marine resources in its waters. Chile has recently declared major Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) that amount to 1,400,000 sq km or 46% of its territory, doubling the continental land surface of Chile.

The UK is also one of the world’s leading nations with initiatives underway to meet the target to protect 10% of the world ocean by 2020 through its ambitious Blue Belt programme. The UK is committed to protect over 4 million square kilometres of ocean around the UK and the UK Overseas Territories, covering 23% of the UK maritime area. The Joint Nature Conservation Committee is also playing an important role in identifying and providing conservation advice in UK offshore waters, using the best available evidence to develop our conservation advice for each site, undertaking survey, monitoring and assessment work.

Continuing with its commitment to protecting the Ocean, Chile hosted IMPAC4 – the major International Congress on Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), 4 – 8 Sep 2017, in La Serena, followed by a High Level Meeting in Viña del Mar, Valparaiso. SIN secured the participation of more than 30 British experts on MPAs management and enforcement, confirming the UK’s commitment to protecting the Ocean. The UK endorsed the Call for Action proposed by the Government of Chile, which aligns with initiatives already undertaken by the UK government and other organisations. This endorsement confirms the commitment between the UK and Chile to keep collaborating in managing Marine Protected Areas.

SIN Chile has identified significant opportunities for bilateral collaborations with Chile, as well as working together in multinational fora. This includes:

Use UK-developed autonomous vehicles and satellite technology to monitor Chile’s declared MPAs, combat illegal fishing and work with Chile to enforce the UK’s MPA in the Pitcairn Islands. The Blue Belt Programme and JNNC play a key role in collaborating with Chile in managing MPAs and the Satellite Applications Catapult in monitoring illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

Use UK research strength to coordinate ocean observation systems, such as seabed mapping, satellites and research vessels for shared scientific research, through the collaboration with the National Oceanography Centre and British Geological Survey. Chile is especially vulnerable to natural disasters and would benefit from better prediction and modelling systems.

For more information regarding opportunities of collaboration on Oceans in Chile, please contact:

Francisco Alvarez
Science and Innovation Officer
British Embassy in Santiago, Chile
Francisco.alvarez@fco.gov.uk
+56 2 2370 4133

About Francisco Alvarez

Francisco is the Head of Science and Innovation based in Santiago, Chile. He facilitates scientific collaboration between Chile and the UK in Oceans, Space, Polar, Clean Energy and Future Cities.

Francisco is the Head of Science and Innovation based in Santiago, Chile. He facilitates scientific collaboration between Chile and the UK in Oceans, Space, Polar, Clean Energy and Future Cities.

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