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Arroyo To Attend Coral Triangle Summit In Indonesia

President Gloria M. Arroyo will push for initiatives for marine protection and preservation in a one-day Coral Triangle Summit in Indonesia this week. Tuna will be high on the agenda.

As the most diverse marine region on the planet, Coral Triangle countries sustain the lives of nearly 130 million people and contain key spawning and nursery grounds for tuna.

The President of the Philippines will fly to Manado, North Sulawesi, Indonesia on Thursday to meet with heads of state of six countries comprising the so-called Coral Triangle.

“The President is scheduled to take a very quick trip to Indonesia to attend the Coral Triangle Summit where she would meet with countries with mutual interest in marine preservation and protection. The President is going to take a quick overnight trip to attend the summit.”

The Coral Triangle, an area which spans the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, East Timor, Malaysia and the Solomon Islands, is home to more than a third of the world’s coral reefs.

The total area spans 6.5 million square kilometers and is home to over 600 reef-building coral or 75% of all species known to science, and more than 3,000 species of reef fish.

As the most diverse marine region on the planet, Coral Triangle countries sustain the lives of nearly 130 million people and contain key spawning and nursery grounds for tuna.

Mr. Remonde said the summit on May 14-15 would seek to formulate significant and immediate steps towards marine preservation and protection.

The Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI) is a conservation program started in 2007 to establish a network of marine protected areas, or carefully selected sites where human development and exploitation of natural resources are regulated to protect species and habitats.

The CTI also works with the private sector, multilateral agencies, international organizations and civil society partners. The United States Agency for International Development, for instance, has pledged $40 million for the program.

Those directly involved in the CTI are the six Coral Triangle countries and two observers — the United States and Australia.

The Philippines and Papua New Guinea earlier inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) aimed at improving bilateral fisheries cooperation primarily through technology transfer and joint research.

The MoU on fisheries provides for technology transfer particularly on aquaculture development, promotion of fishing ventures, infusion of investments, technical training, joint research and strategic complementation of each country’s plans and programs in response to challenges and opportunities presented by the CTI.