Certificate for Argentina’s 14th Biosphere Reserve
On the 8th of August 2014, during a ceremony held in Room V at UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, Ms. Irina Bokova, Director General of UNESCO, handed over the Valdés Biosphere Reserve Certificate to Dr. Martín Buzzi, Governor of Chubut Province, Argentina. H. Exc. Miguel Estrella, Ambassador of Argentina as well as other Members of the Argentinian Permanent Delegation to UNESCO and representatives from the Argentinian Embassy in Paris were also present at the ceremony.
The International Co-ordinating Council of the Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme recognized the Valdés Biosphere Reserve as part of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves at its 26th session, which was held in East Vättern Landscape Biosphere Reserve in Jönköping, Sweden, from 10 to 13 June 2014. This is the 14th Argentinian biosphere reserve to be part of the Network.
The site encompasses the Patagonian Steppe, Hill Plains and Plateaus and Argentine Sea eco-regions. It is home to significant biodiversity, including highly fragile terrestrial and marine ecosystems, the conservation of which is crucial for addressing the vulnerabilities of key species. Both the Patagonian steppe eco-region and the Argentine Sea have been recognized as important sites and inscribed on WWF’s Global 200 list. The marine coastal areas are suitable habitats for the feeding and reproduction of many bird and marine mammal species. Particular bodies of water, such as the Golfo Nuevo and San José, function as crucial sites for the reproduction of species like the southern right whale (Eubalaena australis). According to the 2010 National Census, 214,196 inhabitants in the Viedma and Rawson departments will benefit from the creation of this biosphere reserve. The most important economic activities in the region are livestock rearing, tourism, fisheries, industry (aluminium, porphyry), the port and, more recently, wind power generation.
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