Colombia, Ecuador, Panama and Costa Rica Sign Agreement to Protect the Marine Corridor in the Pacific Ocean.

    In this way, the Galapagos, Coco, Coiba, Gorgona and Malpelo islands will be covered, which are, at the same time, natural national parks and fauna and flora sanctuaries in the 4 countries

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    An important environmental agreement was signed by the environment ministers of Colombia, Ecuador, Panama and Costa Rica to protect the marine corridor in the Pacific Ocean shared by the 4 countries and which will host their most emblematic island territories.

    Among them are the iconic Galapos islands in Ecuador, Coco in Costa Rica, Coiba in Panama, and those of Gorgona and Malpelo in Colombia, all of which are considered natural national parks or fauna and flora sanctuaries in their respective nations. “With this signature we ratify our commitment to work on an international treaty between countries and establish actions in this strategic area, in terms of fishing, biodiversity and tourism. A permanent technical secretariat will be established to collectively move towards an international figure so that we can maintain the entire corridor as one of the most important maritime areas in the world”, said Colombian Minister Susana Muhamad.

    In this way, the agreement seeks for the governments of the 4 countries to coordinate efforts for the conservation of this area and the sustainable use of its resources, as well as to strengthen governance and cooperation for the management of these protected areas, tourism development in these territories and the mitigation of the effects of climate change. The agreement was ratified between the Pacific Foundation and the Eastern Tropical Pacific Marine Corridor (CMAR), which make up the governments of the 4 countries.

    Additionally, the Connect to Protect Eastern Tropical Pacific coalition will contribute US$118.5 million, both public and private funds, for the conservation of the marine corridor that will be disbursed over the next 4 years. The aforementioned organization is made up of the Bezos Earth Fund, Blue Nature Alliance and the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF), among other entities.

    These announcements were made simultaneously with the ‘Our Ocean 2023’ conference that took place in Panama City last Thursday, March 2nd and last Friday, March 3rd. “The biodiversity of the Marine Corridor, which includes coral areas, the passage of large migrants, reptiles or numerous sharks, is closely related to the great cultural and tourist offer of customs, gastronomy and handicrafts. In this sense, sustainable tourism will also be promoted”, they pointed out about this corridor in the CAF.

    The United States supports CMAR’s protection from illegal fishing

    In an interview given to the Voice of America by Carlos del Toro, Secretary of the US Navy, the official reiterated the commitment of the North American country to confront criminal practices in the Pacific marine corridor such as illegal fishing, drug trafficking and human trafficking.

    And he pointed out that in this sense China is one of the main predators in that area of the Pacific that corresponds to the Latin American countries with their illegal fishing incursions and for which Del Toro considers that the Asian power is violating the sovereignty of those nations. “We cannot allow this to continue. We have to expose the bad behavior on the part of China and all the other countries that are not conducting themselves in the way they should”, said the Secretary of the Navy in that communication medium.

    In the interview, he emphasized that illegal fishing has direct consequences of an economic nature and even food security on the populations that inhabit that area, for which reason the US also wants to support technology to protect the CMAR territories. “I am very excited about the possibilities that drone technology can bring to collect information that can help promote accountability for these bad actors”, he concluded.
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