Today, on the margins of the Summit of the Americas, Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Jose Fernandez, Civilian Deputy to the Commander and Foreign Policy Advisor, U.S. Southern Command Jean Manes, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Programs in the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Heidi Fulton, U.S. Ambassador to Costa Rica Cynthia Telles, Vice President and Foreign Minister Marta Lucia Ramirez and Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development Carlos Correa (Colombia), Foreign Minister Arnoldo Andre Tinoco (Costa Rica), Foreign Minister Juan Carlos Holguin and Minister of the Environment, Water, and Ecological Transition Gustavo Manrique Miranda (Ecuador), and Foreign Minister Erika Mouynes (Panama) signed a Memorandum of Understanding in support of the Eastern Tropical Pacific Marine Corridor (CMAR).
CMAR is a precedent-setting regional ocean conservation effort that spans more than 500,000 square kilometers, covering one of the most highly productive and biologically diverse areas in the ocean. It is also home to the world-renowned Cocos, Coiba, Galápagos, Gorgona, and Malpelo Islands, harbors unique and vulnerable habitats, and supports a rich diversity of flora and fauna. The region is widely recognized as one of the most important areas for the protection, conservation, and management of biodiversity in the Eastern Tropical Pacific Ocean.
Through the Memorandum of Understanding, the United States and the CMAR countries will work together to strengthen marine governance, maritime security, and marine conservation finance, contribute to the goal of effectively conserving or protecting at least 30 percent of the global ocean by 2030, and preserve migratory routes for sea turtles, whales, sharks, and rays. The United States and the CMAR countries will also collaborate to address the challenges that threaten CMAR, including illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing, and to protect marine biodiversity and other ocean resources from the impacts of climate change.