U.S. and Cuba move forward on environmental issues after signing agreement

Posted: 27-Nov-15 09:51

Last week officials from both nations signed the first governmental memorandum for the protection of marine ecosystems that share similar fish and coral species. Environmental cooperation is the most likely area of agreement between the two countries.

U.S. and Cuba move forward on environmental issues after signing agreement

US National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) chief, Kathryn Sullivan and Cuban Vice-minister of Science, Technology, and Environment, Fernando Gonzalez, jointly signed a memorandum for opening new opportunities of collaboration on preserving marine ecosystems in the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico.

Both countries, separated only by 90 miles of water, share mutual marine interests in the area, where migration of a variety of species is very common.

More specifically, the new governmental agreement make it now possible to form a partnership between two marine sanctuaries in Texas and Florida and two marine reserves in the Western coasts of Cuba.

Researchers from the Florida Keys reserve will be paired with Cuban scientists working at the Guanahacabibes National Park, located in the province of Pinar del Río, 147km east of Havana. The Cuban reserve is considered one of the most significant wildlife refuges in the area, offering habitat for a myriad of species, with sea turtles being the most critically endangered and the most zealously protected species in the area.

Meanwhile, scientists from Flower Garden Banks in Texas are the new partners of Banco de San Antonio reserve, an offshore reserve where ocean flows converge.

The Cuban natural reserve in Guanahacabibes is considered vital for sealife travelling from the Caribbean archipelago to the United States’ southern coast. Hence why these two institutions are planning to start a mutual collaboration project to co-examine issues like protection against oil and gas management.

The oil industry and tourism are among the biggest threats against fragile marine ecosystems. Studying these subjects carefully will be very useful for both parts; given that the Florida Keys sanctuary receives more than 3 million visitors each year, while Cuba currently looks to further develop the tourism and energy industries.

Environmental officials believe that specialists from both countries have lots of experience and knowledge to share. In a press release, Kathryn Sullivan acknowledged the fact that by sharing the same ocean, Cuba and the US also share the similar challenges:

“...of understanding, managing, and conserving critical marine resources for future generations.”

In October this year US Secretary of State John Kerry anticipated that his government along with authorities in the island were working together in a deal in the field of environment and ecology. A few weeks later Cuban officials and representatives of the Environmental Defense Foundation launched a plan for protecting shark populations and developed a long term-strategy for marine conservation.

Those earlier initiatives paved the way for the first official environmental agreement between the US and Cuba, signed in the context of the 10th International Ocean Sciences Congress, Marcuba 2015, which kicked off in Havana last week on 16th November.


Popular Holidays in cuba

OUR EXCLUSIVE DEALS AND LATEST OFFERS

Best Value

From £599 per person
villa pinares de mayari

Villa Pinares De Mayari

4.0 stars

Beautifully perched on the panoramic Mensura Hill, surrounded by striking greenery, this blessed and secluded natural...

Included
  • Flight
  • Accomodation
  • Transportation
  • Representation
From £629 per person
villa mirador de mayabe

Villa Mirador De Mayabe

2.0 stars

This enchanting villa hotel is surrounded by exuberant tropical plants and is perfectly located in a high point towering...

Included
  • Flight
  • Accomodation
  • Transportation
  • Representation
From £679 per person
sercotel club cayo guillermo

Sercotel Club Cayo Guillermo

3.0 stars

The perfect haven for lovers of nature in its purest state, the Villa Cojimar hotel sits in an idyllic location amidst...

Included
  • Flight
  • Accomodation
  • Transportation
  • Representation
From £679 per person
club amigo atlantico guardalavaca

Club Amigo Atlantico Guardalavaca

3.0 stars

Get away to one of Cuba's best kept secrets for a dream holiday at Club Amigo Atlantico. Guardalavaca is known to host...

Included
  • Flight
  • Accomodation
  • Transportation
  • Representation
From £679 per person
tryp cayo coco

Tryp Cayo Coco

4.0 stars

The perfect beach holiday awaits you the all-inclusive Tryp Cayo Coco hotel, where non-stop entertainment and utmost...

Included
  • Flight
  • Accomodation
  • Transportation
  • Representation
From £699 per person
memories holguin

Memories Holguin

4.0 stars

Enjoy a perfect beach setting while you unwind in the historic sands of the all-inclusive Memories Holguin. A short...

Included
  • Flight
  • Accomodation
  • Transportation
  • Representation

More deals


Explore cuba your way

Tailor made cuba holidays

For those who prefer to travel at their own pace or to explore places not included in the brochure itineraries, we have years of experience at organising tailor-made holidays.

Create the perfect trip with the help of our specialists

Our expert tour consultants will be pleased to suggest ideas to complement your own and to organise the most appropiate programme to suit your interests, time and budget.

Call 0207 644 1600
to speak with our award-winning travel consultants.

If you would like a member of our team to contact you back, please click here Contact us