Friday, 18 December 2009 9:21 AM

Call for Marine Component into Climate Change Text

Copenhagen, 16 December - Negotiators in Copenhagen have been called on to give attention and act on threats climate change poses to the marine environment, particularly coral reefs, fisheries and ultimately food security.

Indonesia and Solomon Islands ministers, made the call on behalf of the "Coral six countries" at the Climate Change talks when presenting a joint communiqué on oceans and climate change at the first Oceans Day at COP 15.

"Oceans play a critical role but climate variability has become one of the greatest threats to the survival of the Coral Triangle", Solomon Islands Environment minister, Gordon Darcy Lilo said.

"I'd like to call upon all parties here at COP15 to support the adaptation and mitigation measures put forward by the six CTI countries," Indonesia's environment minister, Fadel Muhammad said.

The Coral Triangle Initiative is an ambitious sub region, marine conservation program that covers the coastal environments and coral reefs of Malaysia, Philippines, Papua New Guinea and Timor Leste, Solomon Islands and Indonesia.

It is often referred to as the 'Amazons of the Seas'as it is the epicenter of marine life, holding more than 75% of the known corals and over3,000 species of fish..

The Gizo joint communiqué, signed last month highlights the importance of marine resources to the livelihoods of more than 240 million people and notes a high concern over sea level rise and the increase in ocean temperatures and acidity,

But most importantly calls for the inclusion of a marine component within the negotiation text of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

The Coral Triangle Initiative is being implemented with support from a number of international partner organizations, such as Conservation International, the Global Environment Facility, the Nature Conservancy and the World Wide Fund for Nature.

-- Story by Ahimsa Kibikibi, PNG National Broadcasting Centre, Climate Pasifika