Earth Law Center: Legal Protection for Whale & Dolphin Sanctuary

Earth Law Center’s (ELC) primary aim of this project is to protect the biodiversity and ocean health in the Whale and Dolphin Sanctuary of Uruguay’s EEZ. Our goal is to prevent the threats to this ecosystem by establishing a legal decree establishing the rights, rules and responsibilities for the Sanctuary, and completing the management plan. Activities include generating a public awareness campaign, training and assisting members of the local community to defend the rights of the Sanctuary, and plan participatory meetings to develop the management plan with stakeholder and community involvement. This could be the first ocean rights win in the world.

ELC is partnering with Organización para la Conservación de Cetaceos (OCC) to establish legal rights for the Whale and Dolphin Sanctuary, both through a legal decree and subsequent management plan. Although established in 2013, the Sanctuary lacks a management plan. A plan will reduce threats from shipping traffic, large foreign ports, pollution and non-sustainable fisheries. This project has gained the support of Senator Luis LaCalle, a top contender for the Presidency in Uruguay in 2018.


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