The national government of Ecuador during the next four years will launch a project to alleviate the pressures on marine and coastal biodiversity. The aim is to create an ecological network of marine protected areas and implement a Plan of Action for Shark Conservation in Ecuador (PAT-EC).
The Global Environment Facility (GEF) will provide USD 4 million to implement this initiative, an amount that will be administered through the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
The Ministries of Environment and Agriculture, Livestock, Aquaculture and Fisheries have also funded USD 4.3 million.
The program consists of three components:
- Establishing a functional network of marine protected areas including intangible zones for multiple use, in order to preserve habitats and representative samples of marine and coastal ecosystems. The network elements are functionally connected and act synergistically to generate social, economic and environmental benefits to the country
- Implementation of PAT-EC, which will help consolidate the national government's efforts to protect shark populations. It will strengthen inter-agency cooperation and compliance with established standards, and promote decision making based on scientific data
- Awareness, support and participation of stakeholders in the management of marine and coastal protected areas and for the conservation of sharks.