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In Venezuela, we are working in the Gulf of Paria region on the Caribbean coast. This estuarine region, which encompasses river systems and downstream marine areas, constitutes a critical resource for the people and wildlife of northeastern Venezuela. The system is a contact zone between two extraordinary species-rich ecosystems. The Gulf of Paria is also one of the richest marine areas in the entire Caribbean region, with more than 600 known fish species. The river system that feeds the Gulf harbors over 1,000 known species of fish, representing about 10 percent of the world's known freshwater fish.

The river basin that feeds the Gulf of Paria is on top of one of Venezuela's largest oil reserves, which the government wants to exploit for economic development. Development in this area not only affects the integrity of the river ecosystems, but also the downstream marine ecosystems of the Gulf of Paria.

ConocoPhillips and its Partners Eni Venezuela and OPIC
We are working with ConocoPhillips, as operator for the partners' concession, and Venezuelan stakeholders to assess the biodiversity values of the Gulf of Paria and design and implement measures to promote conservation in the area. more


© CI, Russell A. Mittermeier
Tepui, Venezuela.

• Caribbean Hotspot

 Photo credits for banner image: (Zebras in Botswana) © CI, Chris Brooks