Costa Rica began 2022 implementing ocean diplomacy in favor of the protection of marine resources in different areas. The country is determined to continue executing all the required actions to protect the different ecosystems and oceans are no exception.
By organizing the High Seas Dialogues, together with Belgium and Monaco, Costa Rica has maintained its leadership position on issues of conservation and sustainable use of marine resources in areas beyond national jurisdiction. Costa Rica has also joined the group of countries leading the initiative for an international treaty on marine plastic pollution.
For the rest of the year, will seek a resolution that achieves the creation of a committee to open a negotiation for a binding instrument. Costa Rica is developing national and regional action plans to achieve the reduction of marine waste, given the high quantity of plastics and microplastics that end up in the ocean.
As a member of the Council of the International Seabed Authority, the country has focused on promoting the inclusion of environmental safeguards that guarantee the effective protection of the marine environment in the Code on Exploration and Mining of the Seabed. It has also been demanding transparency in decision-making processes and promoting a fair and equitable financial mechanism and benefit-sharing scheme.
Also, during the COP 26 celebrated during October 2021, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Panama and Colombia announced the strengthening of the Eastern Tropical Pacific Marine Corridor (CMAR) and their intention for this area to become a Transboundary Biosphere Reserve under UNESCO. This enhances Costa Rica’s commitment to a better and greener world.
The actions implemented are part of a “Blue Smart Strategy” endorsed by Costa Rica to promote the creation of synergies, particularly among Latin American and Caribbean countries and extra-regional partners, to guide environmentally positive actions. The nation hopes to encourage the expansion of protected areas between countries and create opportunities for dialogue, cooperation, investment and trade.
Along with France and the United Kingdom, the country has highlighted the importance of adopting the 30X30 target (to protect 30% of the planet’s surface). This was discussed in the Post 2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, noting the relevance of involving indigenous peoples and local communities in determining the areas to be protected.
The protection of 30% of the global marine area is in itself a nature-based solution, which will allow the recovery of ecosystems essential for biodiversity and the strengthening of the carbon absorption capacity of the oceans.
Finally, Costa Rica believes the negotiation of the Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdictions (BBNJ) agreement is an essential tool in the fight against climate change and biodiversity loss; which is precisely why the country advocates for the incorporation of clauses that allow the creation, monitoring and reviewing of marine protected areas.
Moreover, the country believes in the inclusion of strong environmental safeguards for economic activities that may be developed in the high seas and in the addition of Environmental Impact Assessments for activities generated in the high seas.