Initiative is coordinated by U.S. Center for Human-Environmental Research
PUCRS’ Institute for the Environment (IMA) has now joined the international project Estuarine Ecological Knowledge Network (EEKN), by the Center for Human-Environmental Research (CHER), USA, for a global-scale study on the relationship between humans and estuaries (water environments where the sea meets a river). The project is endorsed by the United Nations Ocean Decade Program and U.S. National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine. Estuaries are considered essential to the overall health and productivity of the Earth’s oceans.
“EEKN is currently starting a pilot program in southeastern Louisiana, along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico in the United States. According to Dr. Nelson Fontoura, Director of IMA, this program, which studies the Barataria, Mississippi River and Breton Sound basins, involves working with coastal fishing communities to develop new channels of communication with scientists and policy makers regarding the health and productivity of coastal and estuarine zones.
The program will give artisanal fishing communities a more active voice in responding to major policy decisions affecting their environmental and economic contexts. EEKN plans to expand its scope of operation to the deltas / estuaries of Rio Grande (USA / Mexico), Mekong (Vietnam), Laguna dos Patos (Brazil) and Danube (Romania / Ukraine).
PUCRS, through IMA, is the point of contact for the researchers involved in the program to develop fishing studies on the Laguna dos Patos under the project. The aim is to develop a replicable model to use the ecological knowledge acquired by coastal fishing communities to improve and protect estuaries.