Loro Parque, ULPGC and ULL achieve support for the Macaronesian biodiversity sanctuary

The Parliament of the Canary Islands issues an institutional declaration "to protect the valuable cetacean heritage of Macaronesia"

EFE The Gran Canarian palms

The director of the Loro Parque Fundación, Javier Almunia, announced this Wednesday that, together with the two Canarian universities (ULL and ULPGC), they have achieved the
support of the Parliament of the Canary Islands so that, through an institutional declaration, the creation of a marine biodiversity sanctuary for Macaronesia is promoted.

“It is an idea with more than 40 years that arose when cetaceans were still being hunted in Macaronesia”pointed out during the announcement of this proposal, "long persecuted" and that it has its origin, he said, in the push of researchers such as Petra Deimer, a marine biologist whose awareness work "ended practices such as hunting" and promoted the idea to create a sanctuary to "protect the valuable cetacean heritage of Macaronesia".

Along these lines, Almunia added, they have worked "in the last 32 years, trying to generate momentum, political interest, and preserve this wealth of the entire Macaronesian region, not just the Canary Islands."

Likewise, the director of the Loro Parque Fundación has detailed that, "after generating that impulse", they will seek that, in addition to the Canarian Parliament, the rest of the
parliaments of Macaronesia.

Thus, it has abounded, it will be possible to intervene "at the highest level" and implement the control and protection activities that "any marine protected area" needs.

“Many areas advertise something similar from a marketing point of view but do not have actions focused on real protection. The objective of the Loro Parque Fundación is to limit industrial activities in the area, which are the most harmful to cetaceans”, Almunia asserted.

He added that in the Foundation they see with "satisfaction and hope" what he has described as a "great step" of political support for the initiative.

"I hope that in the coming months we will take the steps to make this sanctuary a reality as soon as possible," he concluded.

For his part, the director of the University Institute of Animal Health and Food Safety of the ULPGC (IUSA), Antonio Fernández, has opined that achieving institutional support to create a biodiversity sanctuary in Macaronesia is "going from black and white to color ».

Fernandez has called
reflect on what role each one should play as well as the political, educational and scientific institutions when it comes to protecting the environment.

“We must reflect on how we participate in giving meaning to diagnosing, treating, preventing and identifying problems so that they can be solved in an insular, archipelagic, Atlantic and close to Africa context, at the southern gate of Europe”, Fernández pointed out.

He has also asked to preserve the health of ecosystems "to avoid problems in animal health and also in human health, because they are interconnected", as well as "helping the
conservation of species through sustainable development«.

“A marine biodiversity sanctuary must be absolutely embedded in the globalized system. We need to continue adding and, without a doubt, aim high, and promote synergies with other organizations, and in this the university plays an essential role », he concluded.

The role of universities

Regarding the role of universities, the rector of the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Lluís Serra, has stated that the institution he presides over "has the clear vocation of playing a role of international relevance in the field of scientific research related to climate change and the development of innovative solutions'.

Thus, he has highlighted the role of institutes dependent on the ULPGC, such as the IUSA or Ecoaqua, as well as the scientific research and knowledge transfer programs that he has considered "vital" to achieve the
Sustainable Development Goals.

The ULPGC, in short, has stressed that it must be a space for research and dissemination as well as the protection of our marine species, said Serra, who recalled that in the Canary Islands "life comes from the sea and many of the solutions that the planet requires today come from the oceans.

“The sea has always been synonymous with adventure and is essential for future generations”concluded the rector of the ULPGC.

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