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Maintaining Wetlands and Livelihoods in the Paraná Delta, Argentina (La Plata basin)

This project aims to fight the current degradation of the Parana Delta wetlands by influencing the “Strategic Integral Plan for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of the Parana Delta” (PIECAS) and other policy processes, contributing to the implementation of an Integrated Management of Wetland Resources approach, as a basis for food and water security; and for new livelihood strategies that will support sustainable economic development.


Action Description:

Key message: The Parana Delta is facing a serious degradation due to modification of drainage patterns through high-impact embankment methodology fuelled by excessive extraction of wetland resources, replacement of native vegetation with forestry plantations, large scale livestock farming and a changing climate. This process is leaded by medium to big enterprises and seriously affects local populations. Integrated management of wetland resources and parallel cultural-sensitive productive alternatives can reduce this stress and contribute to the long-term conservation of the Parana Delta system and biodiversity, and therefore contribute to the maintenance of the livelihoods of local communities.

Objectives

 1) To demonstrate the value of integrated wetland management planning as a basis for sustainable socio-economic development, providing substantil technical contributions to the implementation of the PIECAS;

 2) To raise awareness and promote commitment of the PIECAS key stakeholders / decisionmakers (at local, regional and national levels) in regards to the need for integrated management of wetland resources;

 3) To develop local skills and capacity for integrated management of wetlands resources, building upon existing institutions and social capital of the Paraná Delta inhabitants;

 4) To communicate the results of the field assessment to the Paraná Delta inhabitants, decisionmakers and other relevant audiences eithin the La Plata basin.


Action Partners:

The project will be implement in partnership with:

 - Laboratorio de Ecología Regional / University of Buenos Aires (UBA);

 - Laboratorio de Teledetección y Ecoinformática / University of San Martín (UNSAM);

 - Secretaría de Ambiente y Desarrollo Sustentable of Argentina (Technical-administrative Secretary of PIECAS);

 - Fundación Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (FARN);

 - Taller Ecologista de Rosario;

 - Fundación PROTEGER;

 - EEA INTA Delta del Paraná.

Role description per partner

- Laboratorio de Ecología Regional / University of Buenos Aires (UBA) and Laboratorio de Teledetección y Ecoinformática / University of San Martín (UNSAM) (Academic sector, technical experts) will provide scientific advice, knowledge base and remote sensing / GIS expertise.

- Secretaría de Ambiente y Desarrollo Sustentable of Argentina (National government, Ramsar Convention Application authority and WI National focal Point / Technical-administrative Secretary of PIECAS). WI Argentina is currently working on a Cooperation Agreement with this governmental agency.

- Fundación Ambiente y Recursos Naturales / FARN (National CSO, with a policy and institutional profile and today one of WI main partners in Argentina) will be in charge of the policy work. A Cooperation agreement will be sought with FARN.

- Taller Ecologista de Rosario (Local CSO, social experts) will be in charge of communications and day-to-day follow up with local communities, providing baseline information about impacts over the traditional livelihoods resulting from productive activities and inter-annual climate variations.

- Fundación PROTEGER, Santa Fe (National CSO).

- EEA INTA Delta del Paraná (Rural development agency based in the Parana Delta and working on different rural development programs, will provide technical advice, knowledge base and contacts with producers.

- VACAPI S.A. (Private sector) is a company of livestock farming based on the Delta interested in a responsible cattle production in the Delta. At present they are supporting EIA studies and field experiments regarding cattle rising in wetland areas. Besides, this company is leading the livestock farming sector towards its integration into the PIECAS.

- Local cooperatives, local rural societies (livestock farming) and the forestry and tourism sectors (Private sector).

In the framework of the PIECAS and while implementing the activities of the project, we will also interact with other governmental areas at local, provincial and national levels, like agriculture and livestock, fisheries, water management, forestry, social development and tourism.

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