Costa Rica Coffee Guide

Cocos Island earns worldwide ‘Blue Park’ distinction from Marine Conservation Institute

October 24, 2019

Costa Rica’s Cocos Island has been designated as a “Blue Park” by the Marine Conservation Institute, the organization announced this week.

The distinction highlights “the world’s best protected places in the ocean and the people who care about them.”

After the park was nominated in July, a science council evaluated of Cocos Island’s biodiversity value, Costa Rica’s conservation efforts, ecosystem representation and other criteria. The National Park was given a platinum-tier ranking — the highest possible award.

“As a habitat for more than 300 species of marine fish, 600 species of marine mollusks, 800 species of insects, 130 species of birds, five species of freshwater fish and 500 species of plants, Cocos Island is home to almost 50% of the endemism in Costa Rica,” the Marine Conservation Institute says. “Additionally, one of the largest congregations of the scalloped hammerhead shark occurs in Cocos Island National Park.

“The waters of Cocos Island are highly productive, due to its location at the intersection of the Panama Current and the Pacific Equatorial Countercurrent. The convergence of these currents, combined with the various ecosystems in the area such as coral reefs, deep-sea pelagic ecosystems and shallow waters, have made Cocos Island an extraordinary habitat.”

The Marine Conservation Institute offers select Blue Parks — which were formerly known as Global Ocean Refuges — funding for further protection and sustainable tourism development.

“This is another recognition of the efforts our country has historically made to protect biodiversity and motivates us to strengthen work in the oceans, one of the main challenges we have,” said President Carlos Alvarado. “This legacy is the fruit of the labor of those who were before us and made visionary decisions that today set us as an example worldwide.”

A United States-based nonprofit, Marine Conservation Institute was founded in 1996 and focuses on “bridging the gap between scientists who understand marine ecosystems and policy makers who determine their fate.”

Cocos Island is located 532 km from Cabo Blanco, Puntarenas.  It was designated as a UNESCO Natural Heritage for Humanity Site in 1997 after lobbying from the Costa Rican government and the nonprofit Friends of Cocos Island (FAICO).

 

You may be interested

News briefs: Fire set outside coronavirus shelter for indigenous people
Costa Rica
4812 views
Costa Rica
4812 views

News briefs: Fire set outside coronavirus shelter for indigenous people

Alejandro Zúñiga - July 15, 2020

The coronavirus crisis has transformed life in Costa Rica, which has enacted measures to protect the capacity of its health…

Costa Rica passes law against racism and violence in stadiums
Costa Rica
415 views
Costa Rica
415 views

Costa Rica passes law against racism and violence in stadiums

AFP - July 15, 2020

Costa Rica's Legislative Assembly on Tuesday approved a law that punishes violence and manifestations of racism and xenophobia in sports…

Costa Rica approves law punishing street sexual harassment with jail and fines
Costa Rica
5810 views
Costa Rica
5810 views

Costa Rica approves law punishing street sexual harassment with jail and fines

AFP and The Tico Times - July 14, 2020

Costa Rica's Legislative Assembly on Tuesday passed a law that criminalizes street sexual harassment and punishes it with prison terms…