Ecuador’s President Lasso Guillermo has officially signed the declaration to expand the boundaries of the Galápagos Marine Reserve by 60,000 sq kilometers.
Initially announced at the COP26 climate summit Glasgow in November 2021, the expansion of the Galapagos’ footprint is in line with Ecuador’s vision to achieve 30% of marine protection by 2030.
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The new marine reserve – named the Hermandad Marine Reserve – creates a corridor linking Ecuadorian waters with Costa Rican waters and that of Cocos Islands Marine Protected Area. The deal sees the Galápagos Marine Reserve stretched to 198,000 sq kilometres of protected marine habitat. The expanded reserve now connects to the newly formed Eastern Tropical Pacific Marine Corridor, one of the largest protected seascapes in the world.
“The new reserve will ensure a safe pathway for the many amazing creatures traveling to and from Costa Rica’s Cocos Island, where marine protection was also recently extended,” said President Guillermo. “Together, Costa Rica and Ecuador now work to connect two of the world’s most biologically significant and productive marine habitats”.
“Through the creation of this marine reserve, I call on other nations to join this collective effort and successfully preserve the ocean’s irreplaceable biological treasures. In doing so, we honour our motive of Hermandad – symbolising the unity between the Earth and people, as well as the respect, equality, and fraternity needed among the nations to work towards a common goal: guaranteeing the preservation and conservation of our planet for the current and future generations.
Lindblad Expeditions Founder Sven Lindblad was one of a number of invited guests to the signing ceremony alongside Dr. Sylvia Earle, Former US President Bill Clinton, and other members of the Galápagos conservation community.
Lead image source: From left: Ecuador’s Environment Minister, Gustavo Manrique; Colombia’s President Ivan Duque; Ecuador’s President Guillermo Lasso; Sven Lindblad, founder Lindblad Expeditions; Dr Sylvia Earle; Niels Olsen, Ecuador’s Tourism Minister; and former US President, Bill Clinton | Source: Lindblad Expeditions
Bravo, President @LassoGuillermo, and all who are supporting enhanced protection for wildlife in the ocean surrounding the Galápagos Islands where most of the terrain is submerged and most of the animals are aquatic. #HopeSpots #30×30https://t.co/wef46Vadrv pic.twitter.com/wGMOMd65kC
— Sylvia A. Earle (@SylviaEarle) January 14, 2022