Costa Rica’s Coco Island recognized as World Blue Park
This is a big year for Costa Rica’s one and only Isla del Coco (Coco Island National Park), as it received this week the “Blue Park” award for its condition as Global Ocean Refuge in the Gold category of the Marine Conservation Institute, which promotes Marine Protected Areas globally.
“For Costa Rica it is an honor to have a Blue Park and that our treasured Isla del Coco is part of this network of the world’s protected marine areas. This award is an important achievement in matters of conservation and the result of public-private alliances to protect the environment and make a sustainable use of our resources”, commented the Minister of Environment, Carlos Manuel Rodriguez.
The Global Ocean Refuge System aims to safeguard marine biodiversity by assembling a strategic network of effective marine protected areas (MPA’s) that includes replicate representation of all marine habitats in each bio-geographic region and supports marine population persistence.
“Our goal is to recognize those MPAs that deliver on biodiversity conservation, really protecting our ocean environment and inspiring others around the world to strongly protect at least 30% of the ocean’s most important places by 2030,” said Dr. Lance Morgan, President of Marine Conservation Institute. “Blue Park recognition provides regional examples of successful efforts and serves as a road map for others as we strive to protect our oceans for generations to come.”
The network now includes 16 Blue Parks covering 1,669,388 km2 or 644,404 mi2 of ocean (approximately the size of Alaska or Iran, or 3 times the size of Kenya). These outstanding marine protected areas are securing lasting protection for marine biodiversity and their hard-won recognition has already inspired others to work towards a Blue Park Award