The 2nd Meeting of the Regional Initiative for the Conservation and Wise Use of Mangroves and Corals, organised by the Ecuadorian and Mexican Governments in coordination with the Ramsar Secretariat, took place from 14 to 16 June in Guayaquil, Ecuador. The event was opened by the Minister of Environment of Ecuador, Mrs. Marcela Aguiñaga, who highlighted the importance to protect mangrove and coral reefs ecosystems in the region, emphasizing the need to include mitigation and adaptation strategies in the context of climate change.
Delegates from Brazil, Costa Rica, Guatemala, México, Nicaragua, Perú, Ecuador, Honduras and Dominican Republic, as well as two of Ramsar´s International Organization Partners (Birdlife International and Wetlands International), institutional organizations and NGOs from the region (Coralina, Fungap, Keto Foundation, Fundary, and Red Manglar) attended the meeting.
The Contracting Parties worked on the strategic framework of the Initiative, reaching a consensus on the mission, vision, as well as on general and specific objectives of the strategy. The Parties also identified mangrove and coral reef areas in their countries that have regional importance for a project proposal and agreed on activities to give visibility to the Initiative during the Panamerican Meeting that will take place in Jamaica in December 2011 and COP11 in Romania in June 2012.
The event also included a field trip to see the mangroves of Isla de Mondragón in the Bay of Guayaquil, Guayas River, where participants discovered local artisanal practices to extract and tie crabs to be sold to local markets and restaurants.
Report by Maria Rivera, Senior Advisor for the Americas.