Latin American nations join to create the "Eastern Tropical Marine Corridor"
The corridor is not for vessels or humans, it is for marine life, that needs a break from humans. The countries Panama, Ecuador, Colombia and Costa Rica all have protected areas withing their territorial waters in the Pacific Ocean. At COP26, the presidents of these countries have pledged to enlarge those areas, so that they join, creating one huge interconnected marine area spanning 500,000 square kilometers. Called the Eastern Tropical Pacific Marine Corridor (CMAR) initiative, a fishing-free corridor would be created in one of the world's richest seas.
This would enable fish populations, now severely depleted, to regenerate and populate this area (and as an extra result also the adjacent areas), with more fish. This is not only good for humans, but also for global ocean health and marine biodiversity. The new area will serve as a highway for many large marine animals, crucial in the marine food chains, such as tuna, sharks, sea turtles, whales, etc. Whales for example act as whale pumps. That is, when whales obey the call of nature - i.e., when they poop - their excretions form a huge cloud that is food for a myriad of tiny marine creatures, which at the base of the food pyramid.
The aforementioned countries also want to protect their commercial fish populations from foreign industrial fishing fleets, and from illegal and unregulated local fishing practices.
At COP26, the need and urgency to protect, conserve and restore marine ecosystems was highlighted, because usually, the importance of the critical role oceans play in balancing the world's climate and food chains, has been greatly ignored. Oceans are overexploited, overfished, polluted, and becoming increasingly acid, in such a way that a tipping point can be reached which would cause a global ecosystem collapse.
By agreeing to protect such a large area, these Latin American leaders show a lot of political will and strength in doing their bit in aiming to protect 30% of the oceans, a admirable feat. Today, only 7% is protected. For the sceptics, I want to add that it is scientifically proven that protecting 30% of the oceans, known as the 30x30 campaign, will allow the quantity of fish to increase in such a way, that the oceans can continue feeding humanity and that a sustainable ocean economy can be a reality.
Get informed about what is happening, hidden from views, in the oceans. I recommend watching the documentary Seaspiracy.
Map shown: from article in The Guardian:
The Guardian: Latin American countries join reserves to create vast marine protected area.
National Geographic: COP26: Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador and Panama Announce New Protections for "Ocean Highway"
Conservation.org: Eastern Tropical Pacific Seascape.
Nature: Ocean protection needs a spirit of compromise.
An article by Kathelijne Bonne.
Good Climate News is an initiative by the Bonne sisters from Belgium, Elisabeth, Helena and Kathelijne. "We believe in the power of good news".