Lord Goldsmith announces UK will support the creation of the world’s biggest transboundary marine protected area. The UK will help to protect some of the world’s most important and biodiverse marine environments in the Eastern Pacific, including key migratory routes for sea turtles, whales, sharks, and rays.

At COP26 in Glasgow, Costa Rica, Colombia, Ecuador, and Panama made headlines with their announcement that the four countries are now working together to expand and connect marine protection covering over 500,000 km2 of ocean.

The Eastern Tropical Marine Corridor stretches from the rich breeding and feeding grounds around Malpelo Island, the Cocos Ridge, and the Cordillera de Coiba seamounts, to the Galapagos Islands that inspired Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution.

The UK will invest an initial £2m of UK Aid though the World Bank’s PROBLUE fund, and deploy marine experts to provide technical assistance through our Ocean Country Partnership Programme.

This initiative is supported by the UK’s newly established Blue Planet Fund. Speaking at a meeting of the Forum of Ministers of Environment of Latin America and the Caribbean in Costa Rica, Lord Goldsmith said:

“I commend and thank Costa Rica, Colombia, Ecuador, and Panama for their leadership. This is exactly the sort of ambition and cooperation we need now.

I am delighted that the UK will be supporting this inspiring initiative through our newly established Blue Planet Fund, drawing on decades of experience protecting an area of ocean larger than India around the UK Overseas Territories.

The Eastern Tropical Marine Corridor is set to become the largest transboundary marine protected area in the world, taking us closer to protecting at least 30% of the global ocean by 2030 – a UK-led campaign backed by over 100 countries.”

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