|Press Release Centro de Conservacion Cetacea – Centro Ecoceanos – CONAPACH
Campaign “Chile 2008, Whale Sanctuary”
04/08/08 President Bachelet Gives her Support to the Whale Sanctuary
The president of Chile, Michelle Bachelet, held a formal meeting with representatives of Centro de Conservacion Cetacea, Centro Ecoceanos, Conapach, Fundacion Pumalin and Senator Juan Pablo Letelier to address the Whale Sanctuary proposal.
From left to right: Ministry of the Environment, Ana Lya Uriarte; Zoila Bustamante y Cosme Caracciolo (Conapach); Bárbara Galletti (CCC); President of Chile, Michelle Bachelet; Juan Carlos Cárdenas (Ecoceanos), Senator Juan Pablo Letelier; Carolina Morgado (Fundacion Pumalin); and Jorge White (Conapach).
Santiago de Chile, April 08, 2008. (Ecoceanos News)— The President of the Republic of Chile, Michelle Bachelet, expressed her approval and support to representatives of the artisan fishery and Chilean NGOs that have been promoting the creation of a whale sanctuary in Chilean jurisdictional waters before the annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission that will be conducted in Santiago de Chile next June.
During the meeting, President Bachelet stated that she will send as soon as possible a project of Law to create the Whale Sanctuary.
Then information was given by representatives of the Chilean NGOs in charge of promoting this proposal: Centro de Conservacion Cetacea (CCC), Centro Ecoceanos and the National Confederation of Artisan Fishers of Chile (CONAPACH), who were accompanied in the meeting with Bachelet by Senator Juan Pablo Letelier and Carolina Morgado from Fundacion Pumalin.
After the meeting held in the Blue Room of the Presidential Palace of La Moneda, Barbara Galletti (president of CCC) stated that “we are extremely happy with the support expressed by President Bachelet regarding her interest in developing non lethal use alternatives related to cetaceans that will benefit the economies of our coastal communities”.
Galleti added that “the Sanctuary proposal has a wide support of the Chilean Congress, the Chilean people and more than 120 NGOs from Chile and abroad, so we are very confident it will be created soon”.
Juan Carlos Cardenas, executive director of Centro Ecoceanos, affirmed that “we value that President Bachelet committed herself in giving maximum priority to the proposal to establish a whale sanctuary in Chilean jurisdictional waters before the IWC meeting in Santiago next June”.
“President Bachelet agreed that there is no other issue in the country that generates such consensus in all the Chilean society than whale protection” Cardenas added.
Zoila Bustamente, president of CONAPACH stated that “the position of the artisan fishers of Chile is completely in favor of the establishment of a whale sanctuary, because it will mean we will have new alternatives for generating incomes for our fellow fishermen”.
During the meeting, the Chilean NGOs and CONAPACH handed a poster of a blue whale as a gift to president Bachelet. Bustamente declared to the president that “we bring you this gift of a blue whale that lives in the same areas where the artisan fishery works and we have never had any problem with them”.
Regarding other marine conservation initiatives, such as marine protected areas, Senator Letelier stated that “the sanctuary will be the foundation to support other proposals” and will allow to build a positive development of the artisan fishers community. “This is why is so important to have the support of the artisan fishers of Chile”, concluded Letelier.
The Ministry of the Environment of Chile, Ana Lya Uriarte, affirmed that the conversation with President Bachelet leaves everybody pleased because is a signal to “continue working together in concrete initiatives towards the next IWC meeting in Chile”.
Fuente: Centro Ecoceanos, CCC