Representatives of Cuba and the United States signed, in the morning of December 20th, in the offices of the Department of the Interior in Washington D.C., a Memorandum of Understanding on the Cooperation and Exchange in the area of Wildlife Conservation and Terrestrial National Protected Areas.
The document was signed, on the Cuban side, by the First Deputy Minister of Science, Technology and the Environment, Dr. Fernando González Bermúdez, while Sally Jewell, Secretary of the Interior signed the MOU on the US side.
This instrument acknowledges the necessity to establish effective relations between the Ministry of Science, Technology and the Environment of the Republic of Cuba and the Department of the Interior of the United States, to conduct joint scientific research, shared management of natural resources and cooperation on environmental education. The memorandum also lays the basis for cooperation between the systems of protected areas of both nations, bearing in mind the connection with other ecosystems of the Caribbean region and the Gulf of Mexico.
In his remarks during the signing ceremony, Dr. Fernando González, stressed how a major collaboration in this field will contribute to strengthening the international mechanisms already established that guarantee the preservation of the biodiversity, the protection of the cultural and historical heritage and the sustainable use of natural resources, in particular, those treasured by the Systems of Protected Areas of our countries.
“We trust that this document would mark the beginning of a sustained process of exchanges that will enable us to conduct scientific research and to share the good practices of management and preservation in the areas identified of common interest, for a beneficial cooperation between our nations, the region and the world”, concluded the Cuban Deputy Minister.
In addition, Carlos Alberto Díaz Masa, Director of the National Center for Protected Areas of Cuba, stated that the Memorandum would enable to continue working in greater depth on the challenges that poses the protection of natural resources against the impacts of human development and climate change. Moreover, he stated that the memorandum is intended to promote cooperation and the exchange in areas such as biodiversity and ecosystems, the management of protected areas and its connectivity, legislation and international conservation policy, climate change and scientific and environmental cooperation.