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Ministry Announces ‘Bonn’s Coral Reef Life Declaration

Ministry  Announces ‘Bonn’s  Coral  Reef Life  Declaration
December 01
10:00 2017

In light of Fiji’s presidency in COP23 in Bonn, Germany and the commitments that Fiji had taken on following its presidency role, it is important to start addressing the commitments that Fiji announced.

One of these commitments reflect the SDG14 goal on the ‘Conservation and Sustainable use of the Ocean, seas and marine resources in the commitment to protect life below water.’

To further stamp this commitment, Fiji endorsed the “Coral Reef Life Declaration.”

The declaration reiterates the importance of coral and the actions that need to take place to not only mitigate the impacts of climate change, but also to manage the trade and exploitation of corals and its ecosystem.

 

Why support coral declaration?

Support for the ‘coral declaration’ is important because coral reefs are hotspots of biodiversity hosting they generate 5 to 15 tons of fish per square kilometer’s each year.

Additionally, coral reefs represent a million-dollar asset at the very least, with benefits for hundreds of millions of vulnerable coastal people in the Pacific and all over the world. Not forgetting the fact that having a healthy coral reefs ecosystems reduce 97 per cent of wave energy and act as barriers to storms and are the first line defence for coastal communities, preventing catastrophic erosion, flooding and destruction.

In this regard, the Ministry of Fisheries had earlier decided that the harvest, sale, trade and export of live rock corals will cease.

Noting that there are existing companies that currently export ornamental aquarium corals using a quota system, the Ministry of Fisheries is working closely with collaborating partners to further implement our commitment to the “coral declaration.”

 

The following forms the basis of the initiative to better achieve the goals under the declaration:

 Widen awareness of coral reef ecosystems as key indicators of ocean and planetary health, as well as their environmental, economic, social and cultural values.

 As part of the implementation of the Paris agreement commitments and nationally determined contributions, be conscious of the need for action to avoid damaging coral reefs any further and to help, through protection and conservation, reef-dependent people to adapt and increase ecological resilience to climate change.

 Encourage the intergovernmental panel on climate change (IPCC) to highlight the role and fate of coral reef ecosystems, and to explore and promote solutions, in their preparation for the launch in September 2019 of its Special Report on Climate Change, Oceans and the Cryosphere.

 Promote high-level multidisciplinary research on the recent coral reef bleaching events, with a view to understanding resilience and adaptation needs, be better prepared to predict future events and thus orient public policies.

 Support local adaptation and management strategies aimed at increasing the resilience of coral reefs regionally.

 Aim to develop environmentally sustainable business models that actively promote the health of coral reefs by engaging the private sector.

 Work with the business community to reduce coral-related investment risks.

 Identify and promote the financial benefits of investing in coral reefs as assets of a sustainable blue economy.

Reflecting on the coral initiatives above, the Ministry of Fisheries will relook at the current practices surrounding the harvest, sale and export of all coral species and the current sustainable factors that needs to be addressed through line Ministry’s such as the Ministry of Environment as the Ministry responsible for all CITES listed products.

Source: Ministry of Fisheries

Feedback:  jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

 

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