In August this year, a fleet of around 300 Chinese fishing vessels attracted international attention when they congregated just outside Ecuador’s territorial waters around the famed Galápagos Islands. Said to be fishing for squid, the fleet’s checkered past raised concerns about the possibility that target was actually targeting sharks and other threatened species. While there was great outcry over fleet’s presence so close to a renowned ecological hotspot, the legal options were limited because the activities were occurring in international waters. Therefore, there was virtually nothing the Ecuadorian navy — or conservationists — could do. But Ecuadorian environmental leader Yolanda Kakabadse is trying to come up with a solution. Kakabadse, who served as president of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) from 1996 to 2004 and president of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) from 2010 to 2017, has a two-pronged approach that involves leveraging her experience of navigating the politics at the highest levels of civil society, government, and the private sector. The first part of the plan involves persuading regional governments to protect the migration corridor between the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador and Cocos Island in Costa Rica. But most of that area is open ocean that isn’t subject to either countries’ control. That’s where the second part of the plan comes in: convincing the Chinese government that it’s in the country’s interest to limit fishing in the area. While the proposal may seem audacious, Kakabadse believes now is a unique moment for action. Specifically,…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer