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Undersecretary Ximena Fuentes participates in Our Ocean 2023 conference and highlights Chile's leadership in conservation and sustainable use of the ocean

Saturday, March 4th 2023

The Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs, Ximena Fuentes, accompanied by the Chilean Ambassador to Panama, Alejandro Sfeir, participated in the opening day of the VII edition of the Our Ocean conference, which is being held in Panama City.

The Undersecretary highlighted Chile's leadership in conservation and sustainable use of the ocean, and in the establishment of Marine Protected Areas of various types. She pointed out that "we have given priority to this issue in Chile, obtaining unquestionable leadership, valued by the international community".

On her expectations for the summit, she expressed her hope that "progress will continue to be made on a series of initiatives, in order to achieve the commitment of the States to protect the ocean. One of those initiatives is that by 2030, 30% of the ocean should be subject to some kind of protection scheme", adding that the "only way to meet that goal is to include protected areas in the high seas".

Among the achievements and commitments highlighted by Chile at the conference were the creation of the marine protected area "Mar de Pisagua"; the beginning of work to establish a Secretariat of the Americas Coalition for the Protection of the Ocean; the establishment of the Chile Nature Fund; the launch of the Marine Protected Areas Programme; the launch of the Natural Capital Committee in Chile, and the adhesion to the "Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing Action Alliance".

In the context of her participation in the summit, the Undersecretary held bilateral meetings with the Parliamentary Secretary of the Ministry of Fisheries, Oceans and Coast Guard of Canada, Mike Kelloway; with the Secretary of State of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland, Johanna Sumuvuori; and with the Vice-Minister of Multilateral Affairs and International Cooperation of Panama, Yill del Carmen Otero. During the meetings, they addressed various issues related to the conservation and protection of the ocean and the sustainable use of its resources.

In addition, the Undersecretary participated in a panel on the impact of fisheries on marine life and local communities and in a round table on deep sea mining.

Lastly, she headed the discussion "Pacific Marine Corridor: an opportunity for ocean conservation", which was organised by the Chilean Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in conjunction with the Meri Foundation. At the event, she highlighted the progress that Chile has made in this area and pointed out that in recent years the country has developed a very intense process of establishing Marine Protected Areas of different types, managing to subject 43.1% of its jurisdictional waters to a protection scheme.

In the discussion, which was moderated by Felipe Paredes, National Coordinator of Marine Protected Areas of Chile, participated the Vice Minister of Environment of Panama, Diana Laguna; the Vice Minister of Environment of Costa Rica, Franklin Paniagua; the Mayor of Rapa Nui, Pedro Edmunds; the researcher of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Héctor Guzmán, and the Executive Director of the Meri Foundation, Sonia Español.