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Costa Rica’s Robust Blue Agenda: Preserving the Oceans and Environment

Costa Rica, a country known for its remarkable natural beauty, is taking significant steps to protect its oceans and environment. President Rodrigo Chaves Robles, along with Minister of Foreign Affairs Arnoldo André Tinoco and Minister of Environment and Energy Franz Tattenbach Capra, recently introduced a comprehensive blue agenda aimed at preserving the marine ecosystem.

At the core of this ambitious project is the commitment to international cooperation and assistance. Costa Rica seeks support from global partners to implement various conservation initiatives. The country aims to expand programs like Payment for Environmental Services (PES), restore mangroves, combat plastic consumption and ghost nets, and even tag Hammerhead Sharks.

In line with the 30×30 goal, Costa Rica is steadfast in its determination to conserve marine biodiversity. As a part of the High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People, co-led by France and the United Kingdom, the country is actively promoting the 30×30 plan.

Minister Tattenbach Capra emphasizes the importance of the ocean in Costa Rica’s blue agenda, stating, “We have an extremely rich ocean that cannot be wasted. That is why today we are presenting the country’s blue agenda, which includes the social, environmental, and economic areas.” The government is fully committed to ocean preservation and has even volunteered, in collaboration with France, to host the third World Ocean Conference.

To ensure effective control and surveillance, Costa Rica has implemented concrete actions. For instance, they aim to equip 100% of the longline vessels with beacons and safeguard the boundaries of Cocos Island. The Forever Costa Rica Association has generously contributed to ocean protection and the blue economy, assisting in financing these crucial initiatives.

Additionally, the government is granting mangrove management plans and sustainable use permits to shellfish farms and other aquaculture ventures. These measures are part of a comprehensive strategy to support the management of marine protected areas and promote the blue economy in coastal regions.

President Chaves emphasizes the significance of a healthy ocean, stating, “Only a healthy ocean can provide us with the oxygen, food, and productive development that we require as humanity.” To this end, the Costa Rica Blue Fund has been established to finance projects related to effective oceanic marine protected area management, climate change adaptation, research, control and surveillance activities, as well as blue economy initiatives such as responsible fishing and sustainable tourism.

In an exciting development, Costa Rica has partnered with the World Bank to secure financing for marine PES pilot plans. With a commitment of $21 million, these resources will be administered by the Environmental Bank Foundation (FUMBAN).

Costa Rica’s robust blue agenda reflects its dedication to the preservation of the environment and oceans. Through international cooperation, concrete actions, and strategic partnerships, the country is paving the way for sustainable ocean governance and the protection of marine life. With its bold initiatives and commitment to the blue economy, Costa Rica is leading by example, inspiring other nations to follow suit in safeguarding our shared natural heritage.

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