NATION

Time for action to save our coral reefs: Solheim

Stakeholders at the Interna­tional Year of Reef talanoa session at Koro Sun Resort in Savusavu were told that “we are at a make or break point when talk­ing about coral
17 Jan 2018 11:04
Time for action to save our coral reefs: Solheim
United Nation special envoy for oceans Peter Thompson sharing the good and bad news during the International Year of the Reef talanoa session at Koro Sun Resort in Savusavu on January 16. Photo:Shratika Naidu

Stakeholders at the Interna­tional Year of Reef talanoa session at Koro Sun Resort in Savusavu were told that “we are at a make or break point when talk­ing about coral reefs”.

United Nations Environment Programme ex­ecutive director Erik Solheim said: “We have a lot to thank coral reefs for, but un­fortunately peo­ple are damaging this God gifted resource.

“If you see a lot of tourists around here then you can thank the reefs. A num­ber of reefs are coming down. Reefs are dying and you see endless coral bleaching.

“We have seen killing and dying of coral reefs in the planet be it in the Pacific or Caribbean. We must take action and stop all these.

“Why we need to do that is be­cause this is an ethical issue for humanity. Everyone needs to take responsibility in making our cor­al reefs safe.”

Mr Solheim urged the stakehold­ers, non-government organisa­tions and representatives from various government departments on the need to stop the use of plas­tics that we do not need.

“For example on the use of straw,” he said.

“Your parents and grandparents never used straws to drink juice. There are some restaurants which had put up signs that if you des­perately need a straw then ask for it. When customers read this sign they think twice whether to buy straws or not.

“So I hope something like this happens in the Pacific.”

Mr Solheim commended Fiji’s fantastic leadership at Bonn in Germany.

“We are in the right direction towards fighting climate change. We have also learned lot of things, especially how to say Bula,” Mr Solheim said.

United Nations Special Envoy for Oceans Peter Thomson shared some good and bad news during the International Year of Reef ta­lanoa session.

The bad news he said was that our ocean was getting more acidic and warmer creating threats to living creatures.

He also said human activities like illegal fishing and overfishing have damaged the ecosystem.

The good news is that there are action plans in place to save our coral reefs.

Edited by Percy Kean

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