According to Cell Press, "the objectives to retain marine wildlife are necessary for global conservation strategies"
70% of the surface of the planet is covered with water and the human being has "managed to significantly impact almost all this vast ecosystem". This was stated by Kendall Jones of the University of Queensland and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), according to ScienceDaily. The impact of human activity on the oceans can be seen in a recent analysis by Jones and other researchers, who discovered that only 13.2% of this large area of water can be considered a wild marine space.
We are facing a worrying situation, which is why the report published in the journal Cell Press explains that "the objectives to retain marine wildlife are necessary for global conservation strategies".
Mexico protects 182 natural areas
Latin America and the Caribbean are not indifferent to this problem. For years, in the countries of this region, different initiatives have been carried out that seek to protect these spaces that have not been highly intervened by the human being and the species that inhabit them.
Mexico is a clear example of this struggle for the conservation of this ecosystem. According to a press release from the National Commission of Protected Areas (CONAP), the Aztec country is one of the leading Latin American countries in the protection of marine natural areas.
"Currently the country has 182 Natural Protected Areas (NPAs) that cover more than 90 million hectares destined to the conservation of biodiversity. Of these, 37 are marine and coastal areas with a total of 649, 587 km2, equivalent to the countries of Ecuador and Paraguay combined. In addition, 92% of the Mexican islands are within an NPA", the statement says.
Within these protected natural areas the Revillagigedo Archipelago National Park stands out, created in 2017. According to the BBC, this is "a protected area in the Pacific Ocean of some 15 million hectares, which makes it the largest reserve in North America". In addition, in the report on the location and state of protection of this environment, the Gulf of Mexico stands out because, despite the human influence under which it is located, this place is one of the least impacts received worldwide.
Chile and the Nazca-Desventuradas Marine Park
Another country committed to the conservation of these wild marine spaces is Chile. In 2016, the creation of the marine park in the Desventuradas Islands became official, which will be called Nazca-Desventuradas Marine Park. This park stands out because, according to the Ministry of the Environment, "the ecosystems and marine biodiversity of the Desventuradas Islands present exceptional conditions. 72% of the fish species are exclusive to these islands, and the endemism rates for deep species are 41% in fish and 46% in invertebrates ".
In addition to this park, at the beginning of 2018 decrees were signed for the creation of two other parks with which the protection of the marine natural areas of this country is sought. These two spaces that will seek to be preserved are the Juan Fernández Archipelago and Cape Horn, according to La Vanguardia.
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The reason why protection plans for certain marine areas are generated is simple. According to the report, "the main objective of conservation is to achieve a representative protection of biodiversity. Oceanic kingdoms and ecoregions are an increasingly important biogeographical classification for conservation planning and evaluation." In other words, the species that inhabit a marine space is one of the reasons why these parks are created.
However, these actions do not seem to be enough if one takes into account that only 5% of these natural areas considered wild are protected. "Despite having a high genetic diversity, unique functional traits, and endemic species, wild areas are ignored in global environmental agreements," the report states. In addition, protection and conservation still present challenges. For decades our oceans have faced dangers that threaten the existence of the wild marine life that still remains. Pollution, heat waves as a result of climate change, acidification generated by CO2 emissions, marine exploitation, and the destruction of habitats as a result of that human activity are some examples of this.
That is why the report mentions the importance of recognizing these areas and of creating policies that ensure the protection of these wild marine spaces.
LatinAmerican Post | Diana Rojas Leal
Translated from "Estos son los dos países latinoamericanos líderes en protección de áreas naturales marinas"