Argentina Passes Law To Make Banco Namuncurá (Burdwood) Its First Oceanic MPA

Senate in Argentina Passes Law To Make 
Banco Namuncurá (Burdwood) Country’s First Oceanic Marine Protected Area

After a people powered campaign for Earth Hour 2013, Argentina’s Senate has unanimously approved the creation of "Banco Namuncurá (Burdwood)", a 3.4 million hectare Marine Protected Area (MPA) that will more than triple the proportion of the Argentine seas under protection.

The campaign to make Banco Namuncurá (Burdwood) the biggest MPA in the country was a part of Fundación Vida Silvestre Argentina’s Earth Hour campaign for 2013, which mobilised thousands of participants to help champion the passing of the then pending Senate bill.

The MPA was already approved by the Chamber of Deputies in late 2012.

"Fundacion Vida Silvestre (WWF Associate in Argentina), along with Patagonia Natural, Wildlife Conservation Society and other organizations, were instrumental in getting this law passed by providing technical information on the area's importance to legislators," said Diego Moreno, CEO of Vida Silvestre. “This outcome is testament to their hard work and the support of thousands of Argentinians who gave their voice to protect the seas.”

Andy Ridley, CEO and Co-Founder of Earth Hour added, “The voice of people to ensure a sustainable future for our planet has proven an important element to delivering this 3.4 million hectare MPA. The decision today is a brilliant outcome for Argentina, and sets an example for other communities around the world to use their voice for change.”

Before the law was passed, only 1% of the coastal marine area of Argentina was protected. The creation of this new MPA increases the protection of the country’s Exclusive Economic Zone to more than 4%.

Its approval is the first step in fulfilling international commitments made by the Argentine Government, which signed the Convention on Biological Diversity in 1992.

Banco Namuncurá (Burdwood) is an area of high biodiversity, located in a submarine plateau south of the Patagonian Sea, 150 km from Isla de los Estados (Staten Island).

Starfish, sea sponges and cold-waters corals are among the species particularly vulnerable to environmental changes in Banco Namuncurá (Burdwood’s) waters, which also provide feeding areas for albatrosses, petrels, penguins, sea lions and elephant seals seeking food. Whales and orcas are also found in the waters.

Fundacion Vida Silvestre Argentina works to support the creation of new marine and coastal protected areas, and identify areas valuable for conservation. Their Earth Hour 2013 campaign encouraged the participation of all pillars of society - from individuals, to governments, organisations and businesses - to improve the implementation of existing and future marine protected areas across the country.

Marine and Coastal Protected Areas are areas that have significant natural and cultural value and are guarded by law. They are tools for conservation and management of ocean biodiversity.


Earth Hour 2014 will take place at 8.30pm – 9.30pm on Saturday 29 March


See the Earth Hour 2013 Official Video at
Press images can be downloaded at
Downloadable video footage of the global event is available for download at

Media enquiries:

Agustina Ruiz Huidobro | Responsable de Comunicación Fundación Vida Silvestre Argentina  M (+54 11) 15-6722-5976 | T (+54 11) 4331-3631 ext 36

Benjamin Vozzo | Digital Communications Manager Earth Hour Global M: +65 8223 1728

To join the global community head to:

Earth Hour

About Earth Hour
Earth Hour is a global environmental movement of WWF. As one of the first opensourced environmental campaigns, Earth Hour has grown from a symbolic event in one-city into a global movement, crowdsourcing actions from individuals, businesses, organisations and governments to generate environmental outcomes. Earth Hour’s unusual mix of on-the-ground action and digital engagement is creating a broader interconnected global community, to truly create a world-changing difference to the planet we live on.

About Vida Silvestre
La Fundación Vida Silvestre Argentina is a non-governmental, public good and not-for-profit organization established in 1977. Its mission is to propose and implement solutions for nature conservation, promote sustainable use of natural resources and responsible behavior in the context of climate change. Since 1988, it has been the Argentinian associate and representative of WWF, one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organisations, active in more than 100 countries. For more information:

About WWF
WWF is one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organisations, with almost five million supporters and a global network active in more than 100 countries. WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the earth’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world’s biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.


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