Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Seascape Initiative Stretches From Costa Rica To Ecuador And Protects Key Marine Habitats

Date:
February 25, 2004
Source:
Conservation International
Summary:
In one of the most ambitious marine conservation initiatives in the western hemisphere, four Latin American nations, the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, the United Nations Foundation (UN Foundation), Conservation International (CI) and others are consolidating a marine protected area that stretches from Costa Rica to Ecuador and helps safeguard some of the world's richest marine habitats and dozens of endangered species.

San Jose, Costa Rica – Feb 23, 2003 – In one of the most ambitious marine conservation initiatives in the western hemisphere, four Latin American nations, the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, the United Nations Foundation (UN Foundation), Conservation International (CI) and others are consolidating a marine protected area that stretches from Costa Rica to Ecuador and helps safeguard some of the world's richest marine habitats and dozens of endangered species.

Related Articles


The project, known as the Eastern Tropical Pacific Seascape, covers 211 million hectares (521 million acres) and extends from Costa Rica's Cocos Island National Park to Ecuador's Galapagos Island National Park and Marine Reserve. Along the way, the Seascape helps link marine protected areas in Panama and Colombia, safeguards an important migratory route for the Endangered blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) and protects one of the last remaining nesting grounds in the Eastern Pacific of the Critically Endangered leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea).

Under the agreement, the UN Foundation will invest $1.567 million in the Seascape. CI and their Global Conservation Fund (GCF) will match that amount with the support of a $1.2 million donation from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. The four nations that share the Seascape and dozens of partner organizations are expected to put additional millions into the project, which is being led by UNESCO's World Heritage Centre.

The announcement was made today during the opening of the 24th Annual Meeting of the International Sea Turtle Society in San Jose, Costa Rica. The event has drawn more than 1,000 experts from 70 nations, making it the world's largest gathering of marine turtle researchers.

"Healthy seas are being threatened by rampant commercial fishing, coastal development and a flood of waste and pollutants," said Conservation International's Chairman of the Board and CEO Peter Seligmann. "It will take international cooperation to keep our oceans healthy and productive. We owe these four nations, Costa Rica, Colombia, Ecuador and Panama our thanks and support for working together to conserve one of the planet's most precious resources."

The Seascape initiative is part of a broader, $15-million agreement between CI, the UN Foundation and the UNESCO World Heritage Centre to conserve current and proposed Natural World Heritage Sites, like Costa Rica's Cocos Island National Park and Marine Reserve, Ecuador's Galapagos Islands National Park and Marine Reserve, and Colombia's proposed site, Malpelo National Park.

"This alliance to protect the world's 149 Natural World Heritage Sites gives us the ability to make strategic investments that maximize the likelihood of salvaging these unique and delicate habitats," said Timothy Wirth, President of the UN Foundation. "This Seascape initiative is vitally important to the health of our ocean and we certainly hope it becomes a model for marine conservation around the world."

The initiative comes amid mounting evidence that the ocean is under duress. According to a recent study in Nature, 90 percent of large, predatory fish populations – including tuna and marlin – have disappeared. In addition, 75 percent of all commercial fish populations have either collapsed or are approaching collapse. Despite these trends, marine conservation lags far behind terrestrial initiatives. While about 12 percent of the Earth's surface is currently protected, less than 1 percent of the ocean enjoys some form of protection.

One of the marine species that has been hardest hit is the leatherback turtle, which has seen its populations decline in the Eastern Pacific by more than 97 percent in the last two decades. The Seascape addresses the threat by incorporating Costa Rica's Baulas de Guanacaste National Park and its surrounding waters – one of the leatherback's last nesting grounds on the American Pacific.

"The leatherback turtle is a species that has been around longer than the dinosaur, but unless we take immediate and determined steps to change our current fishing practices and our consumption habits, we will see it disappear within our lifetime," said International Sea Turtle Society President, and CI Vice President Roderic Mast. "The Seascape will help give these magnificent creatures the protection and recognition they so urgently need."

Among the treasures the Seascape will encompass are the Galapagos, home to hundreds of unique and vulnerable species found nowhere else on the planet and as many as 750,000 seabirds, 22 species of reptiles and six species of mammals. Cocos Island is equally rich, with more than 230 plant species, 360 insect species and 85 bird species. The Seascape also encompasses Coiba Island National Park in Panama and Gorgona National Park in Colombia.

###

The United Nations Foundation promotes a more peaceful, prosperous, and just world through the support of the United Nations and its Charter. Through our grantmaking and by building new and innovative public-private partnerships, the United Nations Foundation acts to meet the most pressing health, humanitarian, socioeconomic, and environmental challenges of the 21st century. For more information visit: http://www.unfoundation.org

UNESCO's World Heritage Centre is the secretariat to the World Heritage Convention, signed by 178 countries. The purpose of the convention is to identify sites of outstanding universal value and help conserve them for the benefit of future generations. For more information visit: http://www.whc.unesco.org

Conservation International (CI) applies innovations in science, economics, policy and community participation to protect the Earth's richest regions of plant and animal diversity in the hotspots, major tropical wilderness areas and key marine ecosystems. With headquarters in Washington, D.C., CI works in almost 40 countries on four continents.

For more information visit http://www.conservation.org.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Conservation International. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Conservation International. "New Seascape Initiative Stretches From Costa Rica To Ecuador And Protects Key Marine Habitats." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 February 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/02/040225073235.htm>.
Conservation International. (2004, February 25). New Seascape Initiative Stretches From Costa Rica To Ecuador And Protects Key Marine Habitats. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/02/040225073235.htm
Conservation International. "New Seascape Initiative Stretches From Costa Rica To Ecuador And Protects Key Marine Habitats." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/02/040225073235.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Scientists in Amsterdam say couples transfer tens of millions of microbes when they kiss, encouraging healthy exposure to bacteria. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Cambridge scientists have unravelled the genetic code of a rare tapeworm that lived inside a patient's brain for at least four year. Researchers hope it will present new opportunities to diagnose and treat this invasive parasite. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) Polish scientists isolate bacteria from earthworm intestines which they say may be used in antibiotics and cancer treatments. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A team of scientists led by Danish chemist Jorn Christensen says they have isolated two chemical compounds within an existing antipsychotic medication that could be used to help a range of failing antibiotics work against killer bacterial infections, such as Tuberculosis. Jim Drury went to meet him. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins