The Port of Bahía Blanca (Argentina) has started the new online participative forums “Puerto Abierto” to establish new dialogues with the local community. The first meeting included representatives from the agricultural and food sector. The goal of the forums is to debate and align the expectations and needs from the local community with the actions of the port authority. The dialogue will be structured in three phases: diagnosis, discussion of ideas and starting the agreed projects. The participants of the future debate sessions will include representatives from the academy and scientific sector, business organizations, workers, environmental, and cultural initiatives. The final result will be a new strategic plan built from the social agreements.
Port cities host a rich biodiversity. Protecting it can bring associated positive effects, besides the obvious ones. In Tarragona (Spain), the green areas policy of the port authority is showing excellent results. These areas must reduce the water footprint, promote the biodiversity and mitigate the CO2 emissions. The port has focused on the reforestation of degraded spaces and replacing water intensive plants for others more adapted to the Mediterranean climate. Every year, these areas neutralize 1500 tons of CO2 and provide shelter for endangered species such as bees. In Ceuta (Spain), the Port Authority supports the local Sea Museum (Museo del Mar), that is responsible for studying, protecting and disclosing the local biodiversity. This institution publishes several books and magazines promoting the results of their research, for example on the impact of ships on whales and dolphins. The museum also organizes educational activities and leads projects to include coastal areas in the European networks of protected natural reserves. Additionally, it is responsible for a unique facility, the “pudridero” a facility to preserve the carcasses and collect the bones to study and learn about marine animals.
The crucial role of port cities in food logistics is well known, but they can also be relevant in the production, particularly of seafood as one project from Valencia (Spain) shows us this week. The salinity, nutrients and location of nurseries in port waters are excellent for the production of clòtxina valenciana (Mediterranean Mussel). In the case of Valencia, the yearly production reaches 1200 tons. The quality of the water is guaranteed by the port authority and the mussels are controlled by the regional authorities to guarantee that they are safe for consumption.
With the threat of the second wave of contagions grows in many countries, in South America, port city actors continue their solidarity actions to reduce the effects of the Covid19. The port of Valparaiso (Chile) continues to support the local community, with donations of equipment to the local hospital and food to disadvantaged collectives. In the meantime, in San Antonio (Chile), the port community lead by the port authority has sponsored a new laboratory to obtain faster test results. In Buenos Aires (Argentina), the port authority has extended the subsidies to concessionaries to reduce the economic impact of the crisis.