The Deputy Assistant Secretary for Oceans, Fisheries, and Polar Affairs in the Office of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs of the US Department of State, Maxine Burkett, applauded the efforts of the countries of Latin America, mainly Panama, in the preservation of the oceans and their biodiversity. In an interview with La Estrella, Burkett also spoke about the work being done by the United States Department of State, and the opportunities and challenges that countries have in the conservation of marine waters and their biodiversity. “The commitment to the oceans is driving the necessary efforts to ensure that we can achieve the 30X30 goal (a global agreement that has the objective of protecting 30% of terrestrial and marine ecosystems by 2030).
We know that Panama is a leader in this aspect, it has achieved that commitment and now we are looking for it to be a leader by promoting it, reaching 50%,” Burkett said. The Government of Panama announced on Thursday the protection of 54.3% of the exclusive maritime economic zone, by expanding the limits of the Banco Volcán Managed Resources Area (ARMBV).
Burkett believes that the nations of Latin America are on the right track with regard to the marine protection strategy, whose threats –such as pollution and uncontrolled fishing– endanger marine biodiversity and the food resources of a large part of the planet. “We are very close to achieving it,” Burkett declared during the eighth Our Oceans conference, held at the Panama Convention Center on March 2-3.