Business and policy leaders will get together in Manila next year to debate how to protect the Coral Triangle, the world’s most diverse marine environment.
The summit, organized by the Philippine Government and WWF will be held on January 18 to 21, 2010 and outline business opportunities for key sectors operating in the region encompassing Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste.
It will also provide a platform for financial support and investment for businesses willing to commit to sustainability and green growth.
Covering just one per cent of the earth’s surface, the Coral Triangle includes 30 per cent of the world’s coral reefs, 76 per cent of its reef building coral species as well as vital spawning grounds for tuna.
The region sustains the lives of more than 120 million people, along with thousands of small and medium businesses that heavily rely on healthy marine environments and resources.
But the Coral Triangle is under threat from over-exploitation, environmental degradation, poverty, and global economic recession – all compounded by severe climate change.
“By inviting sectors that rely on a healthy marine environment in the Coral Triangle, as well as the tourism, communications, and investment sectors, this Business Summit will contribute to the pursuit of sustainable business development and investment,” said Manuel Gerochi, Philippine Undersecretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
The Business Summit will place special emphasis on the growing demand for ‘green’ products globally, which can drive sustainability in supply chains within the Coral Triangle.
There will also be opportunities for regional and national financial institutions and investors to explore emerging investment opportunities, and to network and forge partnerships with companies that are dependent on the Coral Triangle’s natural resources.
“This event will make a compelling case for sustainable investment and business in the Coral Triangle” said Dr Lida Pet-Soede, WWF Coral Triangle Programme Leader.
“Putting new economic growth on a sustainable path requires courage, innovation, partnership and, not the least, access to credit, finance and investment, which are often major barriers to progress. Through this summit, we hope to find a way to bridge this gap” added Pet-Soede.
According to a WWF report coral reefs will disappear from the Coral Triangle by the end of the century and the ability of the region’s coastal environments to feed people will decline by 80 per cent if no effective action is taken.
This event follows the CTI Leaders Summit in Indonesia in May 2009, where the six Heads of State of the Coral Triangle states committed to ambitious conservation and development targets across the region through a Regional Plan of Action, a large part of which requires meaningful engagement from the private sector.
WWF supports the CTI by providing targeted support for issues related to climate change, fisheries, tourism and marine protected areas through its Coral Triangle Programme.
“The Coral Triangle Business Summit is intended to help businesses reap market rewards through responsible stewardship of the marine environment. The threat of climate change and the growing consumer demand for ‘green’ products point to one need — improved management of the Coral Triangle,” said Dr Lida Pet-Soede.
For more information:
Lida Pet-Soede, WWF Coral Triangle Programme Leader (Bali, Indonesia)
Tel/Fax: +62 361 730185
Paolo P. Mangahas, WWF Coral Triangle Communications Manager (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
Tel: +60 3 78033772