During the Fifth Session of the Intersectoral Commission of the Presidential Cabinet for Climate Action, held in Leticia (Amazonas) on Tuesday afternoon, the President of Colombia, Iván Duque, and the President of the Dominican Republic, Luis Abinader, signed an agreement declaring the Beata submarine mountain range, located in the Caribbean Sea, a binational protected area.
The mountain range, located between the peninsulas of La Guajira, in Colombia, and Hispaniola, in the Dominican Republic, is 450 kilometers long and 300 kilometers wide, and is known for hosting a wide variety of marine species, which will be investigated by a group of scientists to contribute to their conservation.
“This Beata mountain range, a beautiful underwater mountain range that is home to thousands and thousands of species, today allows us to say that we are raising it to an unprecedented international status in terms of bilateral agreements,” said the Colombian president.
The marine protected area will be called the Orlando Jorge Mera Marine Sanctuary, in honor of the Minister of the Environment of the Dominican Republic, who passed away weeks ago and who, according to President Abinader, “has been working with great enthusiasm on this beautiful conservation project for months”.
According to the Colombian president, this binational alliance was worked on during the last months, with the purpose of guaranteeing the protection of the marine biodiversity of the now protected area.
“I want to emphasize that today Colombia and the Dominican Republic are marking a historic milestone in regional environmental policy, and we also want this to be taken to the great environmental conversations, with organizations such as the Bezos Earth Fund, the WWF (World Wildlife Fund), Conservation International and the National Geographic Society, through Pristine Seas,” said President Duque.
The union of these two Latin American countries to guarantee the protection of the Beata submarine mountain range, according to the Colombian president, will allow for cartographic and geographic surveys and an analysis of the endemic species in the area, reported the EFE news agency.
“Colombia and the Dominican Republic, through a joint declaration, send a strong message that demonstrates the commitment to climate action of the most biodiverse region in the world,” concluded the president of the Dominican Republic.
Colombia achieved the declaration of 34% of its territory as a protected area.
In recent days, President Iván Duque also announced that 34% of Colombian territory has been declared a protected area, of which 37% is marine territory and 31% continental territory.
The figure was qualified by the national president as a milestone for the country in the conquest of the conservation of the ecosystems of the Colombian territory. The announcement was made during the fifth session of the Intersectorial Commission of the Presidential Cabinet for Climate Action.
“After having already had communications with the United Nations registration system, today Colombia reaches 31 percent of its continental territory declared as a protected area; it is the greatest conservation achievement that our country has made,” said the Colombian president.
During his speech, the president also announced that, during his four-year term, the goal of the National Development Plan to reduce the country’s deforestation rate by 30 percent was achieved.
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