Thursday, August 29, 2013


    Jakarta, Aug 29, 2013 (Antara) - After successfully hosting the First World Ocean Conference (WOC) and Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI) Summit on May 11-15, 2009, Manado plans to hold the first World Coral Reef Conference (WCRC) in May 2014.
        The Coral Triangle Initiative was established under the initiative of Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on the sidelines of the December 2007 Bali United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) talks.

        Home to more than 76 percent of all known coral species, 53 percent of the world's coral reefs, and over 37 percent of coral reef fish species, the Coral Triangle is one of the world's most biologically diverse regions.
         The CTI programmes are primarily aimed at the protection and preservation of marine and coastal resources in six countries: Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Solomon
Islands, and Timor-Leste.
         The member countries  will hold the WCRC in their recommendation issued on the last day of "The Second Regional Priority Workshop of Coral Triangle Initiative for Coral Reefs, Fisheries and Food Security" in Manado on August 22, 2013.
        "The planned Conference is expected to help encourage the international community to respect coral reefs as future food resources," said Tonney Wagey, an Indonesian participant in the Manado meeting.
         The WCRC will also promote coral reefs as a future economic aspect for the international community.
         "It means that not only countries located in the coral reef triangle should care for coral reefs, but other countries must also help preserve and protect them," Miriam, a delegate of the Philippines, said.
        North Sulawesi Governor Sinyo Harry Sarundajang said by hosting the WCRC and the new Secretariat of CTI, Manado is expected to be an icon of coral reefs. The CTI secretariat will be based in Kairagi, Manado, and is expected to be fully operational shortly.
        The central government has supported the plan of organizing WCRC estimated to be participated in by representatives of almost 100 countries and NGOs, according to the governor.
         WCRC will focus on comprehensive discussion on the potential, usage, management and conservation strategies of coral reefs, according to the head of the North Sulawesi marine affairs and fisheries office, Ronald Sorongan, in Manado, recently.
        The Conference will emphasize on the coral reef preservation efforts as appealed by experts in the the 12th international coral reef symposium organized in Cairns, Australia, last year.
         The experts urged the governments to take concrete actions to preserve the coral reefs, he said.
        "The WCRC will also become a momentum of the fifth commemoration of the World Ocean Conference and Roal Triangle Initiative Summit held in May 2009," he said.
         The Second Regional Priority Workshop (RPW) of the Coral Triangle Initiative for Coral Reefs, Fisheries and Food Security (CTI-CFF) was held in Manado, on August 20-22, 2013, to discuss efforts to strengthen regional cooperation for food security.
         The First RPW of the CTI-CFF was held in Jakarta in 2010, where nine priority activities were set to address the 37 regional plans of action formulated by the CTI.
         The second workshop, which was participated in by over 100 representatives from the CTI member nations,  tracked the progress of the implementation of these activities and that of regional and
bilateral projects that were also set in motion.
         It considered priorities for the next three years based on the shortcomings identified in the implementation of the initial nine priority activities.
         The Manado meeting also inaugurated the framework and establishment of the Coral Triangle Marine Protected Area (MPA) System.
        The Coral Triangle MPA System (CTMPAS) is expected to be the largest network of effectively managed MPAs in the Asia-Pacific region, in various locations within 647 million hectares of land and sea in six neighboring countries.
   The CTMPAS Framework and Action Plan addresses marine conservation and sustainability issues and harnesses cooperation and collaboration to accelerate cross-learning across the Coral Triangle.
         "We are very proud of the CTMPAS because it is a cutting edge tool that utilizes the latest scientific development in marine resource management and because of the vastness of its scope¿ Dr. Sudirman Saad, the chairman of the CTI-CFF Interim Regional Secretariat said as quoted ont the CTI's website.
         Dr. Saad emphasized that through MPA networks, the CT6 can share the lessons learned and best practices on how to make inclusiveness of coastal communities who are highly dependent on natural resources for their sustenance and subsistence economics activities.
         In its CTI Regional Plan of Action, the Coral Triangle countries recognize the importance of MPAs as a proven tool towards conserving marine biodiversity while sustaining critical fisheries and other marine resources in the Coral Triangle region that are currently under threat.
         The Reefs at Risk Revisited in the Coral Triangle Report, released in July 2012 by the US-based World Resources Institute, has raised the flag that more than 85 percent of reefs in the Coral Triangle are directly threatened by local human activities, substantially more than the global average of 60 percent.
         The report highlighted that the greatest threats to the reefs in the Coral Triangle are overfishing, watershed-based pollution, and coastal development and when these threats are combined with coral
bleaching due to climate change, the risk increases to 90 percent.
        The report proposed recommendations to protect the Coral Triangle, including reducing pressures from overfishing, destructive fishing and run-offs from land and establishing effective and well-managed marine protected areas.
         In the case of Indonesia, Marine Affairs and Fisheries Minister Sharif C Sutardjo said the nation has developed a marine conservation area measuring 15.5 million hectares, close to its year 2020 target of 20 million hectares.
        Indonesia is one of the world's largest maritime countries with about 5.8 million square kilometers of marine territory. ***4***
    (T.F001/A/BESSR/F. Assegaf) 29-08-2013 16:09:33

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