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
Contact: Jim Wyss