ADB takes part in World Ocean Conference, Coral Triangle Summit

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Source: Asian Development Bank

Thousands of delegates from around the world have gathered in Manado, Indonesia, for a major conference on coastal and marine resources management that will culminate in the first Leaders Summit of the Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI). ADB will participate in and provide support to both events.

Hosted by the Government of Indonesia, the World Ocean Conference (WOC) brings together ministers and senior officials from governments and multilateral organizations representing more than 120 countries. Heads of state from the six Southeast Asian and Pacific countries that make up the CTI -- Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste -- will attend the Leaders Summit on May 15.

The Coral Triangle region boasts the world's highest density of marine life, which is vital to the livelihoods and food security of more than 100 million residents.

The WOC will provide an opportunity to focus global attention on measures needed to protect the health of marine ecosystems and to better appreciate the important roles they play in regulating global warming and responses to climate change.

ADB will serve as lead agency in mobilizing domestic and international financial resources for this regional cooperation program and also providing its own technical and financial support. The Global Environment Facility (GEF) is providing core grant financing for the program.

As part of the WOC program, ADB is hosting a workshop to kick off a new regional project in the Pacific under the CTI and a symposium showcasing ADB's experience in managing the region's coastal and marine resources. ADB staff will also take part in a panel of international experts addressing new approaches to financing developing country responses to the challenge of climate change. ADB Vice-President Lawrence Greenwood will participate in the Summit and will also co-chair, with Indonesian Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Freddy Numberi, a CTI Partnership Dialogue, which will bring together ministers and senior officials from the six countries and various organizations supporting the CTI.

'Both the World Ocean Conference and the Coral Triangle Initiative are helping the region to collectively address critical threats to marine and coastal resources posed by climate change, unsustainable fishing methods and land-based pollution,' says Mr. Greenwood. 'ADB strongly supports these efforts.'

At the CTI Leaders Summit, the six heads of state are expected to adopt a regional 'plan of action' that will serve as a blueprint for their cooperation on sustainable management of coastal and marine resources.

Other founding CTI partners involved in the events include the GEF, the Governments of Australia and the US, and three international NGOs – Conservation International (CI), The Nature Conservancy (TNC), and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

Mobilization of resources to support the CTI is still ongoing, but it has so far generated commitments or pledges of around US$350 million. The GEF has committed up to $63 million in grants coordinated through ADB, and the US Government a further $40 million. ADB and other development partners are expected to contribute new funding close to $300 million.

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