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PIA Press Release

Coral Cay offers help in Guimaras clean-up

Iloilo City (11 September) -- Offers to help in the coastal clean-up of the oil spill in the island province of Guimaras still continue to pour in. The latest to offer assistance was Coral Cay, a British environment conservation group which has done extensive research on the country's vast coral reefs.

According to the Ambassador Victoria Bataclan, Philippine Ambassador to Sweden and the rest of the Nordic countries, President Macapagal-Arroyo was open to discussing Coral Cay's offer. Coral Cay is a partner of the Philippine Reef & Rainforest project at Danjungan Island focusing mainly on preserving the marine part of the project. It also sent volunteers for a conservation project in Taytay Bay in Palawan.

Ambassador Bataclan said the President might meet with Coral Cay's representatives when she visits London as part of her five-nation trip. In the face of the larger ecological threat posed by the Guimaras oil spill, the President has decided to pursue the adoption of the Ocean Initiative at the Sixth Asian-European Meeting (Asem).

The President first proposed the Asem Ocean Initiative at the Senior Officials Meeting held in Hanoi two years ago to promote Asia-Europe cooperation and dialog in marine environmental protection and marine scientific research. Indonesia and Portugal have backed this initiative of the Philippines at the Asem.

The Arroyo government is keen on sustainable development to keep the country's land and territorial waters "not just inhabitable for life but also as providers for the needs of the present and future generations," according to Bataclan.

This is also the guiding principle of all remediation chemicals, technologies and procedures used in dealing with the effects of the Solar I oil spill. According to DENR 6 Executive Director Julian Amador any object or method utilized in the clean up should not be harmful to marine and terrestrial life and should have no ill-effects in the environment in the near and distant future. (PIA 6) [top]

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