Subject: Six Nations to Take First Steps on Coral Initiative
The Jakarta Globe
Friday, May 15, 2009
Six Nations to Take First Steps on Coral Initiative
by Fidelis E. Satriastanti & Arti Ekawati
Six member countries of the Coral Triangle Initiative of South Pacific
nations on Thursday agreed to push ahead to create a secretariat and work
out funding later in a bid to protect the region’s fast-diminishing
coral reefs, said Freddy Numberi, Indonesia’s minister of maritime
affairs and fisheries.
Officials of the six nations Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines,
Papua New Guinea, East Timor and the Solomon Islands were expected to
sign what was termed a CTI Leader’s Declaration on May 15.
The secretariat is in the very early stages. Only the United States has
confirmed funding, allocating $40 million over five years. The body is
seeking $70 million from the Global Environmental Fund, which addresses
the funding of global environmental issues, particularly climate change
adaptation and mitigation.
An estimated $300 million is believed to be available from various
sources for the preservation of the six countries’ coral reefs.
Although no decision has been made on the location of the secretariat,
Papua New Guinea has agreed that Indonesia would be a likely location
although the Philippines is reportedly also vying for the site, which can
be expected to generate one of the world’s top marine research centers.
We’ve agreed to just use the word secretariat and not permanent
secretariat,” said Freddy, who acted as chairman for the preparation
meeting Thursday. “It will be discussed at the next meeting in June. But
we’re not going to decide whether it’s a mobile or permanent
Financial mechanisms, he said, had not been discussed and would be
taken up in June. “However, we’ve agreed that the mechanics will be
adjusted according to each country’s action plan.”
Eko Rudianto, the director of ocean landscape at the Ministry of
Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, said determining a permanent location for
the organization would be complicated and involved more than site
availability and government willingness.
Many things should be considered, since it’s related to multilateral
cooperation,” Eko said in an interview in Manado in North Sulawesi where
the World Ocean Conference was held. “It won’t be as easy as building
a branch office.”
Funding is really about the … total area of marine conservation in
one country, not the location of the secretariat,” Eko said. Nor, he
said, would the secretariat’s location give the host country more clout
as a decision-maker. “It’s only the place to manage the organization,”
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