An ocean oasis in the Gulf of California, the Bahía de los Ángeles Biosphere Reserve is one of the most spectacular and biologically significant marine sites in the world.
Its waters provide vital resources for the local community, as well as habitat for unique and threatened species such as marine turtles, whale sharks, and humpback and blue whales. The reserve covers 956,297 acres (387,956 hectares) of coastal, marine and terrestrial island ecosystems off the east coast of the Mexican state of Baja California.
The nongovernmental organization Pronatura Noroeste, Mexico’s National Commission for Protected Areas, the Global Conservation Fund (GCF), and other partners supported the reserve’s creation in 2007. Extensive consultations about the proposed reserve with fishers, fishing and tourism businesses, landowners and other local stakeholders also marked a milestone for the country.
GCF subsequently joined with other donors and Fondo Mexicano para la Conservación de la Naturaleza (the Mexican Nature Conservation Fund) to design an endowment fund that will support the area’s protection in the long term. GCF contributed $1 million to this fund, which was matched by a diverse group of partners to capitalize the fund at $2 million. In addition to covering monitoring and other annual management costs for the area, the Bahia Fund will support sustainable fisheries, tourism and other activities.