- The Blue Fund will channel $10 million over the next 7 years to strengthen the national Blue Agenda
- The Fire Department inaugurated a modern station and extended the service agreement on Cocos Island for five years.
- FAICO reaffirms its support for Cocos Island by making a donation that will benefit the park rangers.
Within the framework of the celebration of the 45th Anniversary of the creation of Cocos Island National Park (CINP), a cooperation agreement between the National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC) and Asociación Costa Rica por Siempre (ACRXS) was signed to operationalize the projects framed within the Costa Rica Blue Fund, a financial mechanism that contributes to the country’s efforts for the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity within the framework of the 30×30 Initiative, which the government promotes as part of the High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People, led by Costa Rica, France, and the United Kingdom.
This Fund has a joint strategy with MINAE and with philanthropy, which has the goal of raising $10 million to support the management effectiveness of Cocos Island National Park (CINP) and the Bicentennial Marine Management Area, as well as the promotion of the blue economy in coastal areas and the strengthening of the sustainable use of our marine resources.
What will be financed?
The Costa Rica Blue Fund will finance projects in two lines of action: 1) management effectiveness of oceanic marine protected areas, including adaptation to climate change, research, and monitoring and surveillance activities, and 2) blue economy, such as responsible fishing, sustainable tourism, the transformation of fishing gear in the country’s coastal areas, and the implementation of the marine Payment for Environmental Services for the conservation of marine biodiversity, care and restoration of mangroves or the innovative payment for the release of hammerhead sharks, a species of great importance for the marine ecosystems in CINP.
Franz Tattenbach, Minister of Environment and Energy, commented that “this Agreement was considered of interest to the Institution because it provides substantial support for improving the protection of the Island’s natural resources, as a way of conserving this important World Heritage Site, where a large number of flora species and endemic fauna are preserved.”
“This cooperation agreement, in addition to being a partnership, is a long-term relationship that will improve the conditions and operation of this protected area.”, said Mr. Rafael Gutiérrez Rojas, Vice Minister of Environment. Mr. Gutiérrez added that “the participation mechanisms of civil society for the protection of the Cocos Marine Conservation Area is manifested once again, as Asociación Costa Rica por Siempre and Faico contribute to the safeguarding and protection of this rich natural heritage of the State.”
“Asociación Costa Rica por Siempre, within the framework of its public-private partnership with the Government of Costa Rica, contributed the first USD$3.5 million, and to date, we have managed to raise USD$9.25 million. Furthermore, we will manage the financial resources of the Costa Rica Blue Fund, under a transparent and science-based governance structure”, commented Katy de la Garza Chamberlain, Executive Director of Asociación Costa Rica por Siempre.
The Costa Rica Blue Fund is a joint fundraising strategy between the Government of Costa Rica, Asociación Costa Rica por Siempre and Re:wild, which has been joined by other donors such as the Bezos Earth Fund, the Moore Foundation, and the Wyss Foundation, which will be executed before 2030.
“With great enthusiasm, we celebrate the signing of the agreement for the Costa Rica Blue Fund, a mechanism that shows that addressing the challenges we face for ocean management requires the commitment of multiple stakeholders. We are convinced that this initiative represents a great opportunity to strengthen the strategic and daily tasks that we require to conserve the biodiversity of our marine protected areas and enhance the ecosystem services that they generate” said Ms. Gina Cuza Jones, Regional Director of the Cocos Marine Conservation Area
Cocos Island National Park
Within the framework of the celebration, the extension of the agreement between the Fire Department and SINAC was carried out for five years so that support services continue to be provided within Cocos Island National Park, at station 6-16 in which two paramedic-firefighters work permanently on site at the service of all the people who work at or visit the protected area for tourism purposes.
Additionally, the new Fire Station facilities were inaugurated within the Island, which had a cost of 250 million colones. In total, the construction is 196 m2, and it includes: an office, reception area, living room, 3 bedrooms, laundry room, cellar, powerhouse, and space for a gym.
“For the Presidency of the Board of Directors of the Fire Department of Costa Rica, it is a true honor and a pleasure to inform Costa Rican citizens that, as of today, the paramedic service provided by our Institution in the majestic Cocos Island has new facilities. All this is conducted in the search to strengthen the prevention and protection services that our firefighters carry out with Dedication, Honor, and Discipline,” said the president of the National Insurance Institute, Mónica Araya Esquivel.
In this event, Friends of Cocos Island Foundation (FAICO), as part of its work for almost 30 years, made a symbolic delivery of equipment for the officers at Cocos Island National Park. FAICO created the “Quality of Park Rangers’ Life” program, which has provided equipment and supplies to support the work that these officers carry out in control and surveillance, sustainable tourism, natural resource management, and others.
FAICO was a key actor for Costa Rica to achieve an additional 30% of protected area in 2021, and in the face of this great challenge, it has consolidated and strengthened its cooperation projects and initiatives with SINAC, with a local and regional vision. “Today we celebrate 45 years, grateful that more and important partnerships with the ACMC are consolidated, and today more than ever, we must remember that our commitment must focus on park rangers´ capacity building, as they are the true guardians of the last natural border of Costa Rica”, commented Alejandra Villalobos, Executive Director of FAICO.