The Cuban Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment (CITMA) and the American non-governmental organization (NGO) the Ocean Foundation wrote a memorandum of understanding for the conservation of marine ecosystems.
The document was signed in Washington on February 28. The Ocean Foundation, directed by scientist Mark J. Spalding, highlighted the first Cuban text of this type to be signed with a United States NGO.
“We believe that agreements like this can lay the foundations for greater cooperation between our governments in ocean and marine science,” said Spalding after the official signing of the memorandum.
Lianys Torres Rivera, the head of the Cuban mission in the United States, showed on Twitter that the text would establish a premise for cooperation between neighboring countries that share common marine areas and ecosystems.
It is agreed that the guidelines will create opportunities for cooperation in marine science between the two research areas.
The Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that among the issues in the document are the implementation of actions to adapt to climate change, the recovery of mangrove areas, and the reduction of the deterioration of coral reefs.
The signatories pointed out that the agreement is the result of the work that US NGOs have maintained for decades with Cuban research institutions.
In November 2015, Cuba and the United States signed a joint declaration with the objective of protecting the marine and maritime biological diversity of the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico.
This document is considered in the Cuban State to be the first signed bilateral cooperation between the two countries. However, the memorandum between CITMA and the Ocean Foundation constitutes a major milestone due to its new content and scope.