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Environmental protection of the Rio de la Plata and its Maritime Front: Pollution Prevention and Control and Habitat Restoration (FREPLATA)

This project will establish a collaborative framework for addressing transboundary degradation in the Rio de la Plata and its Maritime Front, part of the Southeast South American Shelf Large Marine Ecosystem. Fed by the vast La Plata Basin, the system is also influenced by the Brazil - Malvinas currents which meet in the Maritime Front. The waterbody contains globally significant biodiversity, and supports a number of economic activities, including commercial fisheries, tourism, and transportation. It is increasingly being degraded by point and non-point source pollution, including from hydro-carbons, heavy metals and other industrial wastes, agro-chemicals, and solid wastes, and is also being affected by channelisation, sedimentation and habitat degradation. Many of the main fisheries are subject to an intense exploitation and have reached their maximum sustainable yields. Argentina and Uruguay, the riparian countries, are taking a number of steps to address these problems as part of their national sustainable development baselines. However, despite moves to develop a joint management framework for the waterbody, there is little complementarily between these respective efforts, which focus on coastal rather than deeper waters. This has a sizeable external cost, degrading the integrity of the waterbody, undermining economic sectors, affecting human health, and eroding global conservation benefits. The project will contribute to the mitigation of current and emergent transboundary threats to the waterbody by assisting Argentina and Uruguay to prepare a Strategic Action Programme as a framework for addressing the most imminent transboundary issues.

Activities would defray the transactions costs of developing a joint management paradigm, by

  • 1) raising awareness of priority transboundary concerns,
  • 2) the catalysing of enabling policy, institutional and financial reforms,
  • 3) strengthening stakeholder communications,
  • 4) identifying innovative management tools that may later be applied towards SAP implementation, including economic instruments,
  • 5) training resource managers to prepare and implement the SAP,
  • 6) programming targeted investments, and 6) supporting "deal flows" by matching sources of capital with investment opportunities.

Preparation of the SAP would be preceded by finalisation of a Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis (TDA), building on assessments already completed during the Block B stage, by prioritising issues, filling data gaps, and performing an in depth systems analysis of cause/effect variables, including socio-economic and ecological factors.

Large Marine Ecosystem

Patagonian Shelf (LME)

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Documents & Resources
General information
GEF ID 613
Project type Full-Size Project
Status closed (Project Completion)
Start Date 22 Nov 1999
End Date 31 Dec 2008
GEF characteristic:
Focal Area International Waters
GEF Allocation to project USD 5,680,000
Total Cost of the project: USD 10,480,000
YES - See results data (613)
Argentina , Uruguay , Regional

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Project contacts
Paula Caballero Regional Technical Advisor - International Waters
Andres Carsen Project Manager