Dicky Christanto. The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | May 17 2014 | 9:27 AM
Vice President Boediono has encouraged the World Coral Reef Conference (WCRC) to consider forming partnerships to persuade more countries to join efforts to protect coral reefs, and so attract greater resources to support the program.
“It would be better if the CTI-CFF [Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries and Food Security] cooperated with more countries as well as other similar movements so that we can take care of the coral reefs together,” Boediono told delegates Friday at the WCRC in Manado, North Sulawesi.
However, he said he also expected all the efforts relating to coral reef conservation and utilization to be handled with extreme care.
The World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) Coral Triangle program director, Wawan Ridwan, acknowledged it was time for the CTI to expand its collaboration and engage with more organizations and countries, as it could lead to more support.
“We must convince the world that preserving coral reefs is as important as addressing other major problems,” he said.
In the long run, he went on, the CTI needed to raise awareness among internationally influential organizations, like the United Nations, so that they could help overcome the challenges hampering coral conservation attempts.
Boediono traveled to Manado to inaugurate the CTI center, which will house the regional secretariat and exhibition room.
The conference began on Tuesday and runs through Saturday, May 17. It is aimed at solidifying multinational cooperation on coral reef preservation. Papua New Guinea has been appointed the new chair, replacing Malaysia.
Antara reported that more than 400 delegates from 24 countries attended the World Ocean Business Forum (WOBF), which was held to mark the WCRC on May 14.
The forum’s participants comprised 186 Indonesians and around 250 foreign nationals from Argentina, the United States, Australia, Brazil, the Netherlands, China, Finland, Gambia, Iraq, Germany, South Korea, Malaysia, Mauritius, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, France, the Philippines, the Seychelles, Thailand, Uganda, the United Kingdom and Vietnam.
They included diplomats, members of international seaweed associations, international ornamental fish associations, chambers of commerce and industry, tour operators, NGO members, academics, researchers, scientists and government officials.