CI launches unprecedented marine conservation initiatives

Washington, D.C. (June 8, 2005) Conservation International announced major initiatives tonight that will create marine protected areas, increase marine research, and identify priorities for conserving marine species on an unprecedented scale.

The programs involve working with partners to establish ''seascapes" in three of the world's most biodiverse marine areas, set up a Marine Management Area science program in CI's Center for Applied Biodiversity Science, and launch a Global Marine Species Assessment (GMSA) to determine wildlife conservation priorities.

CI anticipates spending $10 million per year over several years on the initiatives, funded by grants from the Walton Family Foundation, the Betty and Gordon Moore Foundation, the Otto Fund, the Cinco Hermanos Fund, the David and Lucille Packard Foundation, and others. Roughly half the money will go to partner organizations helping implement the programs.

"This is, we hope, the start of an even broader effort to work together to achieve significant results in marine conservation," said Sylvia A. Earle, executive director of Conservation International's Global Marine Division. "We are excited about the momentum being created to promote the goals set at the Defying Ocean's End conference in 2003."

The Defying Ocean's End campaign started two years ago in response to the sharp decline in ocean wildlife, a disturbing increase in ocean pollution, and other marine conservation issues.

CI and its partners pioneered seascapes as a new concept large-scale, multiple-use marine management regimes with restrictive zoning where greater protection is needed. The three seascapes to be protected are the Coral Triangle in the Sulu-Sulawesi seas, bounded by Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines; the Raja Ampat islands west of New Guinea; and the Eastern Tropical Pacific Seascape, comprising the sovereign waters of Costa Rica, Ecuador, Panama, and Colombia and embracing the famed Galapagos and Cocos isl

Contact: Roger McManus
Conservation International

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