Today, the international organization Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Future Society sent a letter to the President of the Republic, Laura Chinchilla. In this letter, the Director of the organization for Latin America, Rubén D. Arvizu, calls on the government to clarify the horrible murder of the Costa Rican sea turtle protector Jairo Mora Sandoval and to take action for the protection of sea turtles in Costa Rica.
(June 10, 2013 – San José, Costa Rica)
Last week, from June 3rd -5th, the Founding Congress of the Green Games was held in the UNESCO Building in Paris, France, where Randall Arauz was chosen as one of the “100 Guardian Angels of the Planet.” The event took place in the framework of the Global Conference – International Forum for a Sustainable Development.
To see the 100 Guardian Angels of the Planet:
The project is an initiative of visionary couple Emanuelle and Clemence Errard, who decided to act to provide children with knowledge on sustainable development and that they in turn act directly in the future to conserve the planet’s resources. They travelled around the world with their 7 year old son Jules, and interviewed whom they considered the most outstanding environmentalists of the planet. By holding these Green Games in June of 2015, and with the inspiration of the Guardian Angles, children of the world will be brought closer to each other by seeking solutions to common environmental problems in a fun way, thus turning them into “Guardian Angels.”
“Who can be better Guardian Angels than the kids themselves,?” asked Randall Arauz, of the Costa Rican organization Pretoma. “We have to create awareness and provide training through all means possible so that starting from a very young age, and all the way into adulthood, they are also committed Guardian Angles of the Planet, no matter what career path they follow.”
The objective of this first meeting was to validate the principles of the Green Games and officially launch the project to the media. The Green Games are considered to be the beginning of a new era, an era of transition, the theme of the Eighth Edition of the Global Conference – International Forum for a Sustainable Development.
For more information
Randall Arauz, email@example.com, 8344 3711
Pretoma, firstname.lastname@example.org, 2241 5227
According to reports in the national press, China is a true commercial partner, very giving and interested in mutual socio-economic development . Stadiums, police cars, cash donations, are happening every day. However, when it comes to marine conservation and sustainable use of marine resources, it has been a formidable adversary. China fiercely opposed the successful efforts of Costa Rica ot protect hammerhead sharks from international commerce through the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES), and recently filed a “reserve” to keep from abiding by the measures. China should collaborate with Costa Rica to guarantee the implementation of CITES, instead of perpetuating overfishing, shark finning, and extinction, with the socio-economic consequences that brings.
The western Pacific leatherback turtle, the world’s largest reptile and a common sight every year in the waters outside the Golden Gate, could go extinct within 20 years if more isn’t done to protect its habitat and nesting sites, a team of international experts concluded.
The worldwide population of the endangered Pacific leatherback has declined more than 90 percent since the 1980s because of commercial fishing, egg poaching, destruction of nesting habitat, degradation of foraging habitat and changing ocean conditions.
On March 3rd, the Canadian photojournalist and biologist Nick Hawkins found over 80 blacktip shark (Carcharhinus limbatus) heads and dead bodies off western Cabuya Island, in direction of Cabo Blanco Absolute Natural Reserve. The finding happened when Hawkins was exploring the area while photographing for a conservation project on the Nicoya Peninsula.
Nick Hawkins quotes, “I spent over 30 minutes collecting heads and bodies for a photo, I collected around 80 but there were still many more scattered about a larger area. All of the sharks were juveniles and some were fully intact, killed needlessly and then discarded.”
“Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident. There are almost 30 commercial shark species in the Pacific of Costa Rica and these are caught for the high value of their fins but also for national meat consumption, especially the young individuals that haven’t reproduce yet, as in this case” states Randall Arauz of Pretoma. “One more time, this encounter shows the great fishing pressures on sharks and the urgent need to expand and create marine protected areas in coastal zones where the shark feed during juvenile stages” concluded Arauz.
For more information:
Nick Hawkins - email@example.com - http://www.njhawkins.com/
Pretoma, firstname.lastname@example.org, (506) 22415227
(March 11, 2013 – Bangkok, Thailand)
In a very close vote, the plenary of CITES approved by a 2/3 majority the inclusion of hammerhead sharks in Appendix II. The proposal was submitted by Costa Rica, Honduras and Brazil, and has obtained the support of Central America, most of the South American countries, the European Union, the United States, and blocks of African nations.
Due to the lack of a technical justification, some countries claimed the measure could not be implemented, or that it could affect artisanal fisheries of developing nations. However, Brazil expressed that it would provide technical and financial training for implementation. Furthermore, a CITES Appendix II listing will only affect international trade, while artisanal fishers catch juveniles for domestic consumption.
“This measure will finally control the irrational and unsustainable catch of hammerhead sharks to meet the demand of shark fins in international markets,” said Randall Arauz, marine species advisor to the Costa Rican delegation. “Far from being detrimental to artisanal fisheries, the measure will be beneficial to them, as it will guarantee the protection of adults, allowing them to reproduce into perpetuity.
“The hammerhead shark is of extreme importance to Costa Rica, not only due to its importance in domestic fisheries, but also due to its importance for the dive industry, where their observation generates yearly revenues of millions of US$,” expressed José Joaquín Calvo, Chief of the Costa Rican delegation. “We will continue with these regional and global processes, to guarantee the sustainable use of hammerhead sharks and other highly migratory species for the future generations.”
Votes in favor: 91
Votes against: 39
NOTE: Stil existe the possibility that China or Japan will overturn the vote when the convention returns to plenary.
Over 10,000 citizens from around the world support protection of hammerhead sharks in CITES.
Latin American united against Asia
(March 7, 2013 – San José, Costa Rica)
Over 10,000 citizens from 118 countries signed a petition calling on the delegates participating in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), currently meeting in Bangkok, Thailand, to provide protection of hammerhead sharks from international trade by listing the species under Appenix II of the Convention. Click here to see the list.
The proposal was submitted by Costa Rica, Honduras and Brazil, and currently enjoys the support of Central America, most of South America, the United States and the European Union. At this moment, Latin American delegates are working hard to gain the support of African nations. The Latin American region also seeks the listing in Appendix II of porbeagle sharks, oceanic whitetip sharks and manta rays.
Currently, over 100 million sharks are globally sacrificed every year to supply the demand of shark fins in Asia. The lack of controls has led to the dramatic depletion of shark populations. Hammerhead sharks are particularly sought due to the high quality of its fins, and declines in its population have been reported in the range of 90% or more. The listing of the species in Appendix II would not ban the commercial activity, but rather ensure that the products of this species come from legal and controlled fisheries that do not compromise its survival.
Japan leads a block of Asian nations that seeks to avoid such controls, and through the secret vote mechanism hopes to derail the initiative and maintain this unsustainable extraction volume.
“Hammerhead sharks migrate throughout the oceanic islands of the Eastern Tropical Pacific, where a large presence occurs of national and foreign vessels that carry out the unsustainable extraction of this species,” informed Randall Arauz, advisor to the Costa Rican delegation on marine species. “CITES promotes regional and international cooperation, ensuring the perpetuity of this species, which annually generates millions of US$ through non lethal activities such as ecotourism and diving.”
The hammerhead shark vote is expected to take place on Friday March 8th, but could be delayed until Monday the 11th.