Costa Rica Increases Marine Life Protection

Costa Rica has increased its marine protected area from 2.7% to 30%, by expanding Cocos Island National Park by 26x its previous size.

President Carlos Alvarado signed the decree on December 17, 2021, broadening the park to more than 5 million hectares. Under the decree, fishing and any other extractive operations are banned within the park, protecting its marine ecosystem. The park will be located in the newly designated Bicentennial Marine Management Area.

The announcement comes after 50 countries said they would protect 30% of their land and 30% of their water by 2030, commonly referred to as the 30x30 goal. At COP26, the leaders of Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, and Ecuador pledged to work together to protect 500,000 square kilometers along their borders in the eastern tropical Pacific ocean.