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PIA Press Release

Philippine firm tapped to author WOC 2009 Conference Report

by Arvin Yana

Manila (30 October) -- After supporting the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF) of the Government of Indonesia in the organization and management of the highly successful World Ocean Conference (WOC) 2009 in Manado last 11-15 May 2009, Filipino firm PRIMEX was again engaged by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to prepare the report on the Conference.

Ms. Elvira C. Ablaza, PRIMEX President and CEO and Marine and Coastal Resource Management Specialist of the ADB Technical Assistance Team (TAT) that worked closely with MMAF from March to May, drafted a report that summarized the proceedings of the Conference and, more importantly, highlighted the key issues and recommendations arising from the various intergovernmental meetings, Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI) Summit and preparatory meetings, as well as the oral presentations during the International Symposium on Ocean Science, Technology, and Policy.

The draft report has been submitted to ADB for publication and dissemination to interested parties. CD copies of the WOC 2009 Report will be brought by ADB officials and staff who will be participating at the 15th Conference of Parties (COP15) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to be held in Copenhagen, Denmark this coming December. It is hoped that the Report will add to the global clamor to include discussions on the role of oceans in the climate change response.

"With major natural disasters that recently claimed massive lives and properties, access to various literature that tackles climate change becomes imperative more than ever. This document will prove to be an excellent reference for various national and local governments in re-charting their respective environmental agenda," Ablaza said.

WOC 2009, a forum for the world community to discuss current issues in the marine field, consisted of a number of parallel events, the most important of which were the intergovernmental high-level meetings, which culminated in the signing of the Manado Ocean Declaration (MOD) by heads of government delegations; the international Ocean Science, Technology, and Policy Symposium, which discussed a wide range of ocean-related topics in 31 technical sessions; and Global Ocean Policy Day (GOPD), which was designed as an opportunity for multi-stakeholder dialogue on the importance of the oceans in climate change, mitigation and adaptation strategies, and financing issues.

Another highlight of WOC 2009 was the historic Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI) Leaders' Summit, where the Heads of State of the six Southeast Asian and Pacific countries comprising the Coral Triangle (Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Solomon Islands, and Timor-Leste) gathered to formally launch the CTI, sign the CTI Leaders' Declaration, and approve the CTI Regional Plan of Action.

The six leaders, including Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, agreed on a wide-ranging plan to protect one of the world's largest networks of coral reefs, promising to reduce pollution, eliminate overfishing, and improve the livelihoods of impoverished coastal communities. The Coral Triangle accounts for a third of the world's coral reefs and 35 percent of coral reef fish species. (PIA) [top]

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