New Protected Area Cabo Manglares, Bajo Mira y Frontera to Bolster Conservation of Marine/Coastal Resources | WWF

New Protected Area Cabo Manglares, Bajo Mira y Frontera to Bolster Conservation of Marine/Coastal Resources

Posted on
18 noviembre 2017
Within the Mira River basin delta (a cross-border basin shared by Colombia & Ecuador) is located the new National Integrated Management District (DNMI) Cabo Manglares, Bajo Mira y Frontera with an area of 190,282 hectares. Beyond protecting the mangrove, its species (such as cockles, locally known as piangua) and the surrounding fishing areas, it will contribute to the conservation of important beaches for turtle nesting. This management category will permit the sustainable use of resources by traditional communities.
November 18, 2017 - WWF-Colombia continues to work on one of its far-reaching goals to ensure the expansion and effective management of the Colombian Protected Areas System. The declaration of Cabo Manglares, Bajo Mira y Frontera (in the Nariño province) as a new National Integrated Management District (DNMI) contributes to this goal and enables greater connectivity of coastal ecosystems with neighboring Ecuador´s Cayapas Mataje Ecological Reserve (REMACAM).
The Alliance for the Conservation of Biodiversity, Territory & Culture— comprised of the National Parks Agency, WWF, WCS, the Julio Mario Santo Domingo Foundation, and the Argos Group —and included the support of the Ministry of Environment, the National Marine Research Institute (INVEMAR) and the state government of Nariño. As a result, Colombia further exceeds the Aichi Target of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) for marine ecosystems, which set a goal to protect at least 10% of each country´s marine and coastal ecosystems.
The declaration of Cabo Manglares, Bajo Mira y Frontera, also counted on the crucial support of the MacArthur Foundation. The foundation backed various technical studies and supported information generation for decision-making processes, in addition to strengthening the organizations of the community groups in the region.
What is a DNMI?
A National Integrated Management District is a management category granted to a geographical area in which the landscapes and ecosystems maintain their composition and function (which is to say, the ecosystem is neither transformed nor replaced by another), even though its structure has been modified. Its natural and cultural resources are made available to the population for their sustainable use, preservation, restauration, learning, and enjoyment (Decree 1076 of 2015). This means that all of the communities that live in the territory, among them members of the Bajo Mira y Frontera Community Council, can carry out activities for the sustainable use and benefit of the resources associated with the area for their livelihoods, under the guidelines agreed to by all parties involved in the declaration.
Through this declaration, the mangrove ecosystem and the environmental services it provides to the Afro-descendant communities will be protected. For example, mangroves are a nursery both for commercially important fisheries and for the food security of the local communities,” affirmed Mary Lou Higgins, WWF Colombia Director. “Furthermore, Cabo Manglares, Bajo Mira y Frontera DNMI ensures the connectivity of mangroves in Ecuador.”

© Cristhian García / Parques Nacionales Naturales

Why is the Area’s Declaration Relevant for All?
  • Even though the mangrove ecosystems in Nariño could be classified as relatively unaffected, there are some areas that are in danger of losing their functionality, especially those affected by deforestation for the expansion of the agricultural frontier
  •  It is a reproduction and feeding sight for birds, many of which are migratory, and some critically endangered (e.g. Great Curassaw Crax rubra) or endangered (e.g. Crested Guan Penelope purpurascens),
  •  Humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) reproduction site
  •  Its beaches and waters provide nesting sites and sustenance for sea turtles:
  1.  Black sea turtle (Chelonia agassizii)- moderate amount
  2.  Pacific Ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea)- abundant amount
  3.  Leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea)- occasional nesting
  4.  Hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) visit the waters
  • It is an industrial, artisanal, and traditional fishing zone that provides subsistence for the communities such as the cockles, locally known as piangua (Anadara tuberculosa and Anadara similis)
  • It corresponds to the cross-border Mira River basin delta which provides the opportunity to ensure the connectivity and functionality of mangroves on the Colombia-Ecuador border, both at the altitudinal and latitudinal level, thus contributing to climate change adaptation strategies. In addition, mangroves help to diminish the risks to local communities of extreme climate events, increasing sea levels, and tsunamis.

© Cristhian García / Parques Nacionales Naturales

What are the Main Pressures facing this region?
The main pressures facing the region include: infrastructure projects, contamination caused by activities resulting from hydrocarbon projects, and a lack of solid and liquid waste management. Deforestation and the unsustainable use of biodiversity, upstream erosion and associated sedimentation and opening of channels in the mangroves also degrade these ecosystems.

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