A new fund will ensure long-term protection of one of Mexico’s most important marine reserves.
With $1 million in funding from Conservation International’s Global Conservation Fund (GCF) matched by other partners, the Bahia Fund will support both the recently declared Bahia de los Angeles Biosphere Reserve and its surrounding area in the Gulf of California.
The Bahia Reserve was officially designated earlier this year as a result of efforts by Pronatura Noroeste, Mexico’s National Commission for Protected Areas, and donors including GCF.
The reserve encompasses 387,957 hectares of marine habitat on the east coast of the Mexican state of Baja California. It harbors critical ecosystems of the central portion of the Gulf of California, an area that is increasingly threatened by proposed tourism development projects and unregulated fishing.
The Bahia Fund consolidates funding not only for the reserve but also for the nearby existing protected areas of San Lorenzo Archipelago Marine Park (58,443 hectares) and Ángel de la Guarda Archipelago (94,766 hectares).
In addition to covering basic management costs, the Bahia Fund will support a range of conservation activities such as monitoring and surveillance, establishment of sustainable fisheries, promotion of conservation-friendly tourism, and other outreach and training.
Fondo Mexicano para la Conservación de la Naturaleza, a private nonprofit organization that helped enable the creation of the new reserve, will manage the fund.
Along with GCF, other donors to the Fund include the Packard Foundation and the Marisla Foundation. Additional fundraising targets have also been set for the fund over the year.
Prior to this $1-million award, GCF invested $480,000 to create and expand protected areas like the Bahia Reserve throughout the Gulf of California, which is one of the most productive and biologically diverse coastal marine ecosystems in the world.