Country: Costa Rica
Site: Cocos Islands
What is your personal relation to the marine WHS you represent?
I feel that working in the Cocos Island National Park is a great opportunity for me. As I had the privilege I feel committed to doing it the best way because I’ve always felt a great affinity for nature conservation and I want to inherit a healthy environment to future generations.
I think the Cocos Island is a sample of what the planet was many years ago, so I want to protect it and that does not happen as other places that have been environmentally degraded.
What are the specific problems and threats of your marine WHS?
One of the biggest problems we suffer daily at Cocos Island is illegal fishing, people with no respect for nature enter the protected area and have high fishing equipment which do not distinguish between turtles, dolphins, sharks and stingrays using all these traps in their fishing hooks. Overfishing is another problem. They only take what has an economic value for them and the rest is thrown into the sea being dead.
I think that coordination among marine protected areas worldwide and with the international and national fishery sectors would help solve the problem. There is a as well a danger to migratory species on their migration routes and travelling. We also now have problems with invasive terrestrial species, animals that were introduced many years ago and now pose a threat to the fragile ecosystem.
Why do you think is it important to safeguard your marine WHS?
Cocos Island possesses many natural scenic features in which many marine and terrestrial species found a unique place to live. That is why in this part of the sea, biodiversity is as broad as few places in the world.
In Cocos Island National Geographic has concluded in their studies, the natural condition such that it shows that efforts to protect an area are working well and give positive results. In this place there is the reproduction of many species that populate the oceans.
In conclusion, the increased importance of Cocos Island is showing that conservation has proven to be an effective way to protect marine resources and their subsequent environmental and economic interference.