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The creation of a Marine Sanctuary in Macaronesia has reached the European Parliament through an intensive week of activities organized by the Loro Parque Foundation with the support of Gabriel Mato, a Member of the European Parliament from the European People’s Party (PPE). The events, which began on Monday and will continue until Friday the 27th, revolve around a spectacular exhibition that was inaugurated last night in the parliamentary building. Nearly a hundred people attended the event, including Members of the European Parliament Juan Fernando López Aguilar and Izaskun Bilbao, members of the Environment Committee of the European Parliament, representatives of the Spanish Embassy to the EU, the General Director of Natural Spaces and Biodiversity of the Government of the Canary Islands, Miguel Angel Morcuende, technicians from the Canary Islands Delegation in Brussels, and the representatives of various participating organizations.

“Canary Islands are part of Macaronesia, a region of exceptional natural richness. I am aware of the importance of the Canary Islands, one of the major biodiversity hotspots, with 17,000 terrestrial species and 9,000 marine species,” stated Gabriel Mato, a Canary Islands Member of the European Parliament from the European People’s Party (PPE), during the opening of the exhibition “From Red to Green: Preserving the World’s Biodiversity.”

An Essential Biodiversity Defense Project

The week of activities that began on Monday continues to make significant progress in the European Parliament, presenting various aspects of the proposal through talks and conferences conducted by experts who have traveled to Brussels. On Monday, Professor Boris Culik delivered a presentation titled “From Whaling to Conservation: The Experience of Macaronesia.” The importance of strandings and the use of cetaceans as indicators of ecosystem health will be discussed today, Tuesday, by Dr. Jesús de la Fuente from the University Institute of Animal Health at ULPGC. Finally, Dr. Javier Almunia, Director of the Loro Parque Foundation and an expert in cetaceans, will discuss the importance of the ecosystems in Macaronesia and introduce the proposal of the Loro Parque Foundation to create a Marine Biodiversity Sanctuary in the region. This initiative was initiated back in the 1980s as part of the Loro Parque Foundation’s commitment to biodiversity conservation.

The founder and honorary president of the Loro Parque Foundation, Wolfgang Kiessling, expressed his regret that Tenerife has recently lost a third of its forested area and advocated for the collective efforts of society to protect nature. He stated, “Fifty years after its establishment, Loro Parque has earned international recognition in scientific research, education, and conservation, factors increasingly acknowledged by environmental and biodiversity advocates.” Kiessling concluded by thanking everyone for coming to the heart of Europe.

Wolfgang Kiessling with the euro parliamentarian, Gabriel Mato

This exhibition, as well as the meetings, discussions, and knowledge exchange within the framework of the EU, have been made possible through the collaboration of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Species Survival Commission (SSC), the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA), the Center for Species Survival of Macaronesia (CSS), and various global experts who are part of these organizations.