management plan for the el morro mangrove wildlife refuge
the gulf of guayaquil is the largest estuary in the country and it is recognized as the most important of the western coast of south america for its contribution to environmental goods and services. the environmental strategy for sustainable development of ecuador (ministry of environment, 2000) establishes as one of its policies the conservation and recovery of fragile and endangered ecosystems, and identifies three regions where to place its main focus, and among them it includes the gulf of guayaquil. the politics and national biodiversity strategy of ecuador (ministry of environment, 2001), poses as a vision for the year 2020, the conservation and sustainable use of the natural resources of the country, and identifies five "regions of special attention", reiterating the importance of the gulf of guayaquil in terms of its biodiversity by the presence of 81% of the mangrove ecosystem in the country (ca., 122,437 hectares), defining three lines of action: i) the control of pollution; ii) the development of sustainable fisheries, and iii) the integral management of mangroves.
a relevant area for the protection of the golf of guayaquil biodiversity is the “estero salado de guayaquil”, which is named like this due to the influence of water bodies with high salinity levels. it starts in el morro channel (in front of posorja) and ends in the city of guayaquil, with special characteristics in relation to its biodiversity.
the importance of the estero salado, regarding the provision of environmental goods and services, has been recognized with the recent creation of two coastal marine protected areas located along their geographical jurisdiction: to the north, the salado mangroves fauna production reserve - rpfms (2003), and to the south the el morro mangrove wildlife refuge - revismem (2007).
the el morro mangrove wildlife refuge - revismem, was created by ministerial agreement n. - 266 on september 13, 2007 and among its main conservation targets are a resident population of coastal dolphins and a population of frigates. this protected area contains 10,130.16 hectares, it is located in the morro channel and belongs to the sub-marine and coastal protected areas belonging to the national system of protected areas - snap, which is under the authority of the under secretary of marine and coastal management of the ministry of the environment.
this management plan identifies actions considered a priority to make effective and implement the revismem management, which were designed in a participatory manner from april 15 to october 30, 2008 with the various actors in the protected area. it establishes the following vision:
"by the year 2023, the el morro wildlife refuge mangrove (revismem) is a protected area, whose natural resources are preserved on the basis of a sustainable ecotourism, a responsible fishery and applied research, being its transverse axis the involvement of users in making management decisions of the protected area."
the under secretary of marine and coastal management (sgmc) from the ministry of the environment, with the support from the ecuadorian foundation for the study of marine mammals (femm), natura foundation – guayaquil chapter, conservation international ecuador (ci-ecuador), latinamerican future foundation (ffla) and mentefactura present this management plan as a way to support the conservation of the revismem natural resources.