WITH CUTTING-EDGE DRONE TECHNOLOGY THE EASTERN PACIFIC'S CORRIDOR
BETWEEN COCO’S ISLAND AND GALAPAGOS WILL BE PROTECTED
• This goal is contemplated by the agreement "Let's Save the Migratory Wildlife of the Pacific", signed this Wednesday between the Ministry of Environment and Energy and the Costa Rican Foundation For The Oceans (FTO).
• Objective of the public-private initiative is to help strengthen operations for the control and protection of marine-coastal resources that migrate in the Eastern Pacific’s Marine Biological Corridor.
• In addition to drones with high-resolution video cameras, the Agreement includes a patrol ship with a crane to recover illegal ghost-nets.
• It also includes developing programs to improve the quality of life of coastal communities and marine environmental education for school and college students.
San Jose, Costa Rica - Wednesday, August 11, 2021 — Today , Costa Rica’s Minister of Environment and Energy (MINAE), Ms. Andrea Meza Murillo, and Mr. Jorge Serendero, Executive Director of the Costa Rican foundation For the Oceans (FTO), signed a cooperative agreement to control and protect the marine-protected area of Cocos Island National Park, Golfo Dulce, and the surroundings of the Thermal Dome of Costa Rica.
The project, "Save the Pacific's Migratory Wildlife" promoted by For the Oceans Foundation, seeks the protection of marine species that migrate through the Marine Biological Corridor of the Eastern Tropical Pacific ocean, between Coco’s Island and the Galapagos archipelago, in Ecuador, one of the most biodiverse oceanic regions of the world.
In accordance with the UNESCO initiative "Decade of Ocean Sciences for Sustainable Development" (2021-2030), which provides support to countries in achieving the Sustainable Development Goal No. 14: "Marine life", the announcement of this promising agreement coincides with the sovereign decision of Costa Rica to double the surface of all its Protected Wild Areas.
Among other aspects, it includes that For the Oceans foundation will provide a patrol vessel capable of navigating the entire exclusion zone, carrying on board two fast inflatable boats, a crane for the recovery of illegal ghost nets (a task to be carried out in collaboration with the California based NGO OceanVoyagers Institute), as well as state-of-the-art drones equipped with high-resolution video cameras for documenting and recording evidence of illegal acts.
The text of the collaboration agreement establish that FTO will not receive any payment for its services and patrol activities will not allow FTO crew to intervene or exercise coercive actions on possible offenders.
This decision - of great importance for the defense of our environment - “will require greater vigilance efforts to control the permanent threat of illegal international fleets, which act in violation of local legislation on sustainable exploitation of our marine resources”, Minister Meza indicated.
“I am absolutely clear that the only way to work for the environment is through joint work also with non-governmental actors, which allows other institutions and NGOs such as FTO the contribution and support through equipment, cutting-edge technological resources, and volunteers who support the work of the competent authorities in their fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, known as IUU fishing", the hierarch also declared.
"We are very happy to sign this cooperation agreement, through which we can also develop marine environmental education programs in schools and colleges, and make efforts aimed at improving the quality of life of the neighboring coastal communities", Jorge Serendero, Director Executive of For the Oceans Foundation, explained.
In detail: For the Oceans Foundation - with the support of the Czech NGO Justice For Nature - will provide a patrol ship capable of navigating the entire exclusion zone, transporting two fast inflatable boats, a crane for the recovery of illegal ghost nets (a task carried out in collaboration with the NGO Ocean Voyagers Institute), as well as state-of-the-art drones equipped with high-resolution video cameras for documenting and recording reliable evidence of illegal acts.
For patrol activities, “FTO must carry park rangers as competent authority on board and may not, under any circumstances, intervene or exercise coercive actions on possible offenders: its functions are limited to the collection of reliable evidence on illegal actions, which may serve as evidence in subsequent legal proceedings”, the text of the collaboration agreement highlights.
Drone patrolling may also be complemented by radar tracking, to effectively scan the entire surface of the protected area.
In turn, FTO may include in its crew various specialists for marine research tasks, monitoring of wild marine species, filming documentaries, and special guests in connection with marine environmental education tasks that will be carried out both remotely and in person at the framework of the “Ambassadors For the Oceans” project, which the foundation is developing in close collaboration with Justice For Nature (Association of Park Rangers of the Czech Republic) and the Ocean Voyagers Institute.
The Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE), for its part, committees to provide all possible assistance from the competent authorities in the area of operation and to facilitate the necessary navigation and mooring permits.
Both, MINAE and For the Oceans Foundation celebrate the successful conclusion of this agreement that will have an initial duration of two years, and may be automatically renewed as the joint Control Board, in charge of the supervision and evaluation of the project’s joint tasks, consider the objectives of the same successfully fulfilled.
This project is made possible only through the generous contributions of private and public donors. Donations are urgently needed to ensure this project can achieve its goals. Individuals who care about protecting Costa Rica’s marine wildlife and wild areas are encouraged to make a much-needed, tax-deductible donation to For The Oceans Foundation at (link).
Video and images from the joint signing ceremony available
For more information, please contact:
Jorge Serendero, Founder/Executive Director
For the Oceans Foundation
Mobile: +(506) 88759393
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