Environment and development
in coastal regions and in small islands
colbartn.gif (4535 octets)

EcoPlata project report is available

The "Rio de la Plata: an Environmental Overview", edited by P.G. Wells and G.R. Daborn, was published by Dalhousie University (Canada) in English in late 1997, with a Spanish edition that followed in early 1998. This 248-page volume was supported by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) in Ottawa, Canada, and by the UNESCO Office in Montevideo (Uruguay) through the CSI platform.

The original manuscript of this publication was used as a working document for the EcoPlata '96 Conference - 'Towards Sustainable Development of the Río de la Plata Coastal Zone'. Afterwards it was corrected, amended, edited and published in its present form as a joint report of Uruguay, Canada, IDRC and UNESCO. Its production is considered timely and invaluable, especially in the context of the International Year of the Ocean.

The following information is taken from the Preface:

The Río de la Plata is one of the world's largest and most important tidal rivers and estuaries, serving several South American countries and supporting many activities including shipping, fishing, tourism and waste disposal. The EcoPlata project, involving Uruguay and Canada, was started in 1991 to facilitate institution building, interdisciplinary marine science, coastal management and information exchange within the Uruguayan marine science and fisheries resource management community, and between Canada and Uruguay. It was supported by the International Development Research Centre of Canada. The project, in its first phase of research starting in 1994, focused largely on oceanographic, biological, and social studies pertaining to the white croaker fishery, the second most important fishery in Uruguay, and to the development of a framework for coastal zone management.

One of the products of the EcoPlata Project is this report, which for the first time presents a detailed environmental overview and synthesis on the Río de la Plata. It covers many topics pertaining to the functioning and condition of the river and estuary, from geology and physical oceanography, to the plankton and benthic biology, to its environmental quality and fisheries biology, and finally and importantly, to the experiences of artisanal fishermen from the region. The report reflects current understanding of how the oceanographic system and the croaker fishery of the Río de la Plata work. It is not meant to be exhaustive, but rather a summary of key and particularly recent information.

For information on how to obtain copies of: The Rio de la Plata: an Environmental Overview (ISBN 0-7703-0467-2, © Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. 1997), contact:
Mr. Robert Fournier: e-mail: rfournie@dal.ca

Ms Silvia Méndez,
UNESCO Montevideo, Av. Brasil 2697, Casilla 859,
11000 Montevideo, Uruguay
fax: (598-2) 772140
e-mail: smendez@unesco.org.uy

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