Delegates took a sigh of relief on Thursday evening, when under the leadership of the Indonesian President, H.E. Dr. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, the highly promoted World Ocean Conference (WOC) finally adopted the Manado Ocean Declaration (MOD). This sends a loud and clear signal from the ocean community to the world of the need to protect our oceans and the coastlines.
After the end of a special organized Coral Triangle Initiative Gala Dinner on May 14 at the Grand Kawanua Novotel Convention Centre,
fireworks illuminated the sky and officially ended WTO on a high note.
Next day, special Garuda Airlines charter flights transferred home the bulk of the Senior Officials to Singapore and Jakarta.
In the context of the Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI), the six countries of Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Timor Leste have come to recognize that the newly created “Coral Triangle” is the very heart of marine life abundance and marine life diversity on this planet. Also, the peoples of the Coral Triangle depend every day on these resources for their livelihood and food security. Thus, the war against poverty cannot be won, unless the marine and coastal resources are wisely managed, which are being wasted by overfishing, destructive fishing practices, pollution and climate change.
As the six above mentioned countries have developed a comprehensive “Regional Plan of Action” to reverse these problems, there will be another day on May 15, when during the Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI) Summit the leaders of these countries sign a Leaders’ Declaration, by virtue in order to launch the Coral Triangle Initiative and commit themselves to its vigorous implementation.
Furthermore, the Government of Indonesia is offering to host a permanent and financed CTI Secretariat in Indonesia to support the implementation of the CTI Regional Plan of Action. Indonesia is also ready to pledge 5 million US dollars for the CTI program.
In another development, Australian Environment Minister Peter Garrett announced today more than 2 million dollars in immediate funding for critical projects for the CTI.
“This investment will focus on areas where we can make the greatest contribution by sharing our knowledge and directly supporting capacity building in marine biodiversity conservation, sustainable fisheries, protecting vulnerable marine species and community empowerment,” Mr. Garrett explained.