Legislators highlight urgent need to preserve biodiversity and marine ecosystems in Mesoamerica

Policy makers and experts from 9 countries gathered in San José

San José/ Hamburg/ Eschborn, 20 September 2013: Legislators, policymakers and experts from Central American and Caribbean countries have highlighted successful measures as well as challenges for conserving biodiversity and marine ecosystems during a 3-day Inter-Parliamentary Hearing on exemplary biodiversity and marine policies in San José, Costa Rica.  

biodiv_LSC1458Maria Isabel Ortiz Mantilla, President of the Mexican Chapter of Global Legislators Organization for a Balanced Environment (GLOBE) and Federal Deputy put the result in a nutshell: “Given the rich biodiversity in Mesoamerica, it is urgent that policymakers establish strong governance over biodiversity in line with the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and its 20 Aichi Biodiversity Targets. Governments, business and citizens need to take responsibility to halt biodiversity loss in the interest of current and future generations and enhance awareness raising and education, financial means and monitoring mechanism to secure the basis of our livelihoods.“

Lourdes Palacios, Member of Parliament of El Salvador added:  “The hearing gave the possibility to learn about successful country experiences such as Costa Rica’s Biodiversity Law, which demonstrates the political will to save biodiversity. For legislators in El Salvador it is important to join efforts internally as well as with regional institutions to reinforce and promote laws for the protection of biodiversity.”

Chantalle Clarke, Coastal Planner, Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute, Belize said: “The hearing provided an interactive forum to showcase and learn about exemplary innovative strategies and policies for marine biodiversity conservation from Mesoamerica.  Belize was extremely happy to share its experiences with quantifying the importance of its natural capital, and using that information to maintain biodiversity while promoting social and economic well-being.  It is hoped that participating countries will embrace the innovative strategies to help them meet the Aichi targets by 2020.”

At the 3-day event in San José (Costa Rica) approximately 45 parliamentarians, government officials, regional entities on environment and development and key experts from academia and civil society from Costa Rica, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, St. Lucia, El Salvador, Mexico, Germany and the US, shared lessons learnt whilst reviewing and discussing how to best conserve and sustainably use biodiversity and marine ecosystems in the region.

The Inter-Parliamentary Hearing was convened by the World Future Council (WFC) in close cooperation with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Regional Office for Mesoamerica and Caribbean Initiative and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).

Media Contacts

World Future Council
Anne Reis
Media & Communications
Mexikoring 29
22297 Hamburg

Phone: +49 40 30 70 914-16
Fax: +49 40 30 70 914-14

Latin America
Janne Rohe
Phone: (506) 8531-5073

The World Future Council

The World Future Council brings the interests of future generations to the centre of policy-making. Its up to 50 eminent members from around the globe have already successfully promoted change. The Council addresses challenges to our common future and provides decision makers with effective policy solutions. In close cooperation with civil society actors, parliamentarians, governments, business and international organizations the World Future Council identifies “best policies” around the globe. The World Future Council is registered as a charitable foundation in Hamburg, Germany.


The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is the world’s oldest and largest global environmental organization it has been operating since 1948 at global level comprising 81 sovereign states, 120 government agencies, 800 plus NGOs, and approximately 10,000 scientists and experts from 181 countries in a unique international alliance. The IUCN seeks to influence, encourage and assist all peoples and societies of the world to conserve the integrity and diversity of nature and to ensure that any use of natural resources is equitable and ecologically sustainable. In the Mesoamerican region (Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Panama) IUCN has been working for more than 30 years through the Regional Office for Mesoamerica and the Caribbean Initiative (ORMA –CI). It has extensive experience in areas related to integrated management of water resources, integrated management of watersheds associated with protected areas, biodiversity, forests, gender mainstreaming, wetlands and coastal areas, and environmental law, environmental impact assessments, community involvement projects, initiatives on ecosystems and livelihoods, social equity activities, and transboundary ecosystem management approaches, especially locally. IUCN as a track record of working with partner organizations in Mesoamerica at different levels such as grassroots, community based, governments, local, regional and international NGO´s, regional representative institutions as well as knowledge and academic institutions, including universities and research centers.

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is a German federal enterprise that operates in more than 130 countries worldwide to support the German Government in achieving their objectives in the field of international cooperation for sustainable development. The conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity for the benefit of the poor and for human well-being is one of the priority areas of German development policy. GIZ implements a large portfolio of bilateral and regional projects around Planet Ocean that enable partners to implement the CBD Strategic Plan for Biodiversity in the field of marine and coastal biodiversity. On the supra-regional level, the Blue Solutions project offers a global knowledge network and capacity development platform to support country efforts to achieve the marine and coastal related Aichi Biodiversity Targets. Blue Solutions is coordinated by GIZ and implemented in direct partnership with GRID-Arendal, IUCN and UNEP. Funding for the project is provided by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) through its International Climate Initiative (ICI).