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Dumaguete City, PhilippinesSaturday, June 16, 2012
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Coral triangle initiative
main focus of int’l gab


The Coral Triangle Initiative, a multi-lateral partnership of six countries formed to address urgent threats to coastal and marine resources will be the main focus of the upcoming 12th International Coral Reef Symposium in mid-July in Cairns, Australia.

Prof. Terry Hughes, the convenor of the 12th ICRS in Australia, said some 2,000 delegates from 78 countries, to include the Philippines, are expected to attend the symposium that will focus on the Coral Triangle Initiative.

Held every four years, the ICRS is a major forum for the global coral reef community, to include scientists, researchers and managers, to tackle threats to coral reefs and what is done to address such concerns, said Hughes during a recent visit to Silliman University in Dumaguete City.

Hughes said the Coral Triangle Initiative, which he describes as a new multinational attempt to deal with regional scale impacts on coral reefs, will take center stage this time during the symposium, with 170 talks on it.

Also, 120 delegates from the CT6, (a name tag for the six Southeast Asian and Pacific countries that make up the Pacific Coral Triangle), 26 of who are from the Philippines, are attending the ICRS, said Hughes.

At the last ICRS meeting, no talks on the Coral Triangle Initiative were held because it was just an idea then, Hughes said. This initiative is a major development in the coral reef world, especially because the Coral Triangle is “a bio-diversity hotspot and the most diverse place in the ocean that has got more species of everything than other places”, Hughes said.

The six countries with maritime borders delineating the Coral Triangle are the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, East Timor, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.

Hughes said he is quite satisfied with the coral project which he described as a bold new experiment even if, realistically, it will not make a major impact on the regional scale overnight, he added.

Hughes, said global warming, globalization of markets of seafood and coastal development are major issues to be addressed as well.*JFP

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