Creating the Largest Multi-country Marine Protected Area in the World

An aerial view of Galapagos Islands, Ecuador.
An aerial view of Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. (Photo credit: iStock / 4FR)

Spanning 500,000-square kilometers off the coasts of Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, and Ecuador, the Eastern Tropical Pacific Marine Corridor is the first transboundary reserve of its kind. Leaders from the four countries signed an agreement in November 2021 to connect and protect the marine environments around the Cocos, Coiba, Galápagos, Gorgona, and Malpelo Islands. By linking these biological hotspots, the reserve helps protect the ecosystems where tuna, sharks, rays, whales, birds, sea turtles and many other creatures live, feed, and reproduce. To support this historic collaboration and strengthen the management and protection of this region, the Bezos Earth Fund granted $30M as part of the Connect to Protect Eastern Tropical Pacific Coalition. The Coalition works alongside governments, local communities, non-governmental organizations, and scientists to help protect this critical marine area slightly larger than the size of Spain.

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