Costa Rica is part of the Eastern Tropical Pacific Seascape
We hear it all the time, and yet it still doesn’t seem clear enough that a healthy ocean is paramount for our own survival. Our ocean makes up the Earth’s primary life support system, comprising 70 percent of our planet’s surface and 99 percent of our world’s biosphere — the fragile part of our planet in which life takes place.
So how do we make sure that everybody is using our shared marine resources responsibly? Well… it’s not easy. Continue reading
Seascapes are strategy for large-scale marine protection and management pioneered by Conservation International.
Costa Rica, as all countries who enjoy having a coastline, owns sovereignty over its waters (its Exclusive Economic Zone, or EZZ) and so, we get to determine how we manage our marine and coastal resources. But fish and whales don’t respect national boundaries. That makes effective management and preservation a challenge: different countries with different takes and ideas, but connected to the same area of sea. Continue reading
“Wherever protection has been implemented, improvement is evident” Juan José Alvarado, CIMAR
Juan José Alvarado (CIMAR researcher) and Cindy Fernández (CIMAR researcher) have been observing the Costa Rican reefs for nearly two years through an unprecedented effort. Their extensive work turns them into the most knowledgeable and experienced people on the reefs that are hidden underneath the Pacific of Costa Rica.
What conclusions have you reached after so many dives, so much data collected and so much analysis?
JJ: The big surprise of the monitoring has been Osa. Particularly, Golfo Dulce. This area has traditionally been impacted by sedimentation and gold extraction … But it is evident that the conservation strategies implemented around the Gulf are working. The live coral coverage is really high; invertebrate diversity is high, among fish, there is a rich diversity. Golfo Dulce has a live coral coverage higher than Coco’s Island. It is the richest point along the coast.
C: One would tend to think that Golfo Dulce is unsuitable for reef development, but we realize that the conservation strategies that have been ongoing for fifteen years are indeed working.
Costa Rica is showing the world the impact that a commitment to conservation can make.
Costa Rica is a lush, tropical paradise; nearly 30% of the country is designated as national parks and reserves. More than 2 million visitors each year enjoy its beauty, which provides income and livelihoods to its people.
This didn’t happen by accident.
Costa Rica made a choice – to take conservation seriously and invest in nature. And it has paid off.