Chile: Partners Reach Consensus on Bahía Lomas Protection

Written by Meredith Gutowski Morehouse/WHSRN
The Bahía Lomas WHSRN Site of Hemispheric Importance, located in Tierra del Fuego, southeast Chile, is one of the most important wintering sites in South America for Red Knots (Calidris canutus rufa). One of the strategic objectives defined in the site’s Management Plan states that by 2013, Bahía Lomas will have a legal mechanism for officially protecting and administering the site. Therefore, in 2012, the site’s partners began the process of distinguishing which legal recognition would be most appropriate to implement the following year.
Sign at Bahia Lomas WHSRN Site wishing safe travels and care for the environment to all visitors. Courtesy of Sole Donoso

Sign at Bahia Lomas WHSRN Site wishing safe travels and care for the environment to all visitors. Courtesy of Sole Donoso

Partners convened two workshops in 2012, one in September in Santiago (central Chile) and the other in December in Punta Arenas (southernmost Chile). During both of these participatory meetings, a variety of key partners and stakeholders worked to identify, analyze, and propose a course of action. The group decided by consensus that “Nature Sanctuary” is the most appropriate legal status through which to protect and manage Bahía Lomas.
These meetings were made possible with funding from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act (NMBCA) Grants Program, and through the strategic partnership between the University of Santo Tomas’ Faculty of Science, the Ministry of Environment, and the Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences. During March 2013,  partners will continue to take the steps needed to get the site officially declared the Bahía Lomas Nature Sanctuary.
For more information, contact Diego Luna Quevedo (diego.luna@manomet.org), Southern Cone Program Coordinator, Shorebird Recovery Project, Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences.
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