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Panama creates vast marine protection area in the Caribbean

The President of Panama, Laurentino Cortizo, formalized yesterday, Thursday, by signing an executive decree to create the Banco Volcán Protected Area in the Panamanian Caribbean.

This area will expand marine protection from 30 percent to 54.33 percent of the country’s exclusive economic area.

The act took place within the framework of the opening of the VIII World Conference on Oceans, which was inaugurated today by the President at the Panama Convention Center, located in the tourist sector of Amador, in the Panamanian capital.

According to official information, the creation of the protected area increases the area under protection to 93,390 kilometers, six times its original size.

Banco Volcán Protected Area. (Photo internet reproduction)
Banco Volcán Protected Area. (Photo internet reproduction)

“Panama’s commitment to life on the planet is real, unequivocal, and forceful, and is demonstrated by the decisions we have taken as a country,” said the President during the inauguration.

Cortizo also praised his country’s priority to expanding marine protected areas, especially the protection and connectivity of the Eastern Tropical Pacific Marine Corridor, working in coordination with neighboring governments to promote the transnational safety of marine resources and develop actions against illegal fishing.

He also recalled that in 2021 Panama achieved the protection of more than 30 percent of its ocean, meeting the goal of the 30×30 initiative ahead of schedule.

The head of state also predicted that during the two days of dialogue, “our commitments will be renewed with new approaches to continue the fight for the protection of our ocean, which is the basis for the survival of the planet and the life of the more than 8 billion human beings who inhabit it.”

The conference will address six action areas, with panels on marine protected areas, maritime security, the blue economy, sustainable fishing, climate change, and marine pollution.

The meeting brings together representatives of governments, the private sector, international organizations, non-governmental organizations, academics, and scientists to define actions to help ensure the responsible management of marine resources.

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