The governments of the United States, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Panama signed June 6 a Memorandum of Understanding in support of the Eastern Pacific Tropical Marine Corridor.
Senior officials of the governments involved signed the document during the 9th Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles.
A U.S. Department of State statement indicated that the corridor, known as CMAR, is an unprecedented conservation effort covering more than 500,000 square kilometers in one of the most productive and biologically diverse areas in the ocean.
The area is home to the well-known islands of Cocos, Coiba, Galapagos, Gorgona, and Malpelo, which harbor unique and vulnerable habitats with a rich diversity of flora and fauna, the statement said.
“The region is widely recognized as one of the most important areas for the protection, conservation, and management of biodiversity in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean.”
The document explained that CMAR signatory countries will work together to strengthen marine governance, maritime security, and marine conservation finance, and contribute to the goal of conserving and protecting at least 30 percent of the global ocean by 2030, preserving the migratory routes of turtles, whales, sharks, and manta rays.
The United States and CMAR countries will further collaborate to address challenges that threaten the treaty, such as illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing, and protect biodiversity and other ocean resources from the impacts of climate change, the statement concluded.