Almost $20 billion has been pledged at a conference held in Panama in an effort to expand and improve biodiverse marine protected areas around the world.
“With the protection of more than half of its seas, including extensive ocean reserves on both sides of the isthmus, Panama is not only ensuring the conservation of its marine biodiversity and the livelihoods of the people who depend on these ecosystems in the long-term, but it also positioned to lead a much more ambitious regional effort,” says Héctor Guzmán, a marine biologist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and co-founder of the marine conservation network MigraMar.
Panama became the first Latin American country to host the Our Ocean conference this year and was one of the key players throughout the conference. Additionally, Panama’s Ministry of Environment affirmed that the country intends to stop more than 160,000 tons of plastic from being imported and consumed in the country. This worldwide collaboration is certainly an encouraging sign as the future of the Earth’s oceans is largely in our hands.