to the UN’s SDGs
Sustainable development goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities
This goal is all about making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.
What are we doing?
Here at Marine Conservation Costa Rica, we are located in Quepos, Costa Rica. We are a few miles away from the Manuel Antonio National Park, a small but incredible national park harboring thousands of species, many of them endemic. Especially in Costa Rica, we want to ensure that the boundaries between wild and city-scapes are as preserved as possible while still creating a healthy and sustainable community for the people who live here. Our towns experience an influx of tourism each year, and must be built to adapt to any number of visitors, and to encourage visitors to return.
We also need to ensure that our locals, who spend incredible amounts of time dedicated to their cause, have the resources needed to live somewhere safe, resilient in the face of disasters, and sustainable for future generations.
Milo is a great example: he runs the Turtle Rescue on Isla Damas, where for a donation, people can come and be part of a turtle release. As he is working extremely hard to save the Olive-Ridley Turtles, it is essential that we provide him and his family with what they need to ensure his continued support for the turtles and the community. This can include a turtle safe haven where the eggs are protected from the elements, predators, and poachers on his property. By helping him protect the turtles, he can sustainably live in his community and buy turtle eggs from poachers, allowing the turtles a better chance at survival.
Our Local Impact on SDG 11
Sea turtles and their positive impacts on coastal environments and local economies and closely tied to Sustainable Development Goal 11. By promoting beach stability and coastal protection through thier nesting activities, sea turtles contribute to keeping human settlements stable. They also attract tourists, encouraging growth and more reason to keep our settlements sustainable.
sustainable development goal 13: climate action
This goal is all about taking action to combat climate change. It focuses on reducing the impact of global warming, increasing resilience to climate-related issues, and raising awareness about the importance of addressing climate change.
What are we doing?
Like many parts of the world today, we can see the effects of climate change happening first hand in Costa Rica. As part of our work at MCCR, we lead/participate in beach cleanups, procure and replant coral to strengthen reefs, and lead local dive clubs to encourage diving and marine conservation to those who may be interested but do not know where to start.
Between 2019 and 2020, 90 individuals collected over 361 kg of trash both on the beach and below water at Cocal, Biesanz, and Nahomi. In 2021, that number increased to 160 participants over 335 kg of trash. It dropped a bit in 2022, down to 98 participants and 270 kg of trash, but this is the data that we participated in, the actual number of trash collected is probably far higher. As of July 7, 2023, 93 participants had collected over 232 kg of trash. We are on track for a great year! The groups we keep data on have included our own MCCR interns, kids camps, and local dive clubs.
Our Local Impact on SDG 13
Unfortunately, many of the consequences of global warming are hard to ignore anymore. Here at MCCR, we are starting to see the first-hand impact of climate change on our community. Our coral is doing okay now, because we are closer to the equator than other reefs, but we are still noticing the effects of warming when we visit the coral. There are less coral, some are unhealthy, and many need a little extra support. By collecting coral fragments to replant, we can help the reef thrive and build a safe area for the creatures that call it home!
sustainable development goal 14: life under water
This goal focuses on Life Below Water. Its aim is to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas, and marine resources for the benefit of present and future generations, promoting a healthier, more vibrant marine ecosystem.
What are we doing?
This goal is all about preserving and sustainably using our oceans, seas, and marine life. It emphasizes the need to protect underwater ecosystems, reduce pollution, and manage our coastal areas wisely. This ensures the health and biodiversity of our oceans, securing a vibrant underwater world for current and future generations.
We are working hard to contribute to this goal! As of this post, we have had 139 interns come to us over the past three years. These interns are primarily dive interns, who contribute to our research and help us monitor the coral. We typically outplant Pocillopora, Pavona, and Porites, and between 2020 and 2023 so far, we have planted almost 1400 corals! This number is going to continue to grow in 2020, and we hope to exceed our goals in 2024. In 2020, we planted 103 total, 2021 302, 2022 490, and in 2023 so far we have planted 501! This number is only going to go up, and we can’t wait to see how far we get.
Our Local Impact on SDG 14:
Coral reef systems are critical to the health of our oceans, and by contributing to their overall health, we are encouraging the health of the thousands of species that depend on reefs for their survival. Often referred to as the “rainforests of the sea” these reef systems are of paramount importance to our planet’s health and biodiversity. Reefs are a vital source of sustenance and livelihood for coastal communities, and support fisheries and tourism industries that are critical to our city. They also absorb carbon dioxide, helping to mitigate climate change and preserve the life forces around us.