The IUCN Regional Office for Mesoamerica has been working in the field of wetlands since 1989 and in the marine area since 1992. Recently, it was decided to combine these areas in one program for conservation and management of wetlands and coastal zones in Mesoamerica. Thanks to financial support from NORAD, IUCN has been reinforcing and vitalizing program actions in this area.
Central America has 6,603 km of coast, representing approximately 12% of the Latin American and Caribbean coastline. There are some 567,000 ha of mangroves, an area equal to 8% of world mangroves and about 7% of the regions total forest cover. This zone also contains 1,600 km of coral reef. The second most important barrier reef in the world, after the one in Australia, is located off the coast of Belize.
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