ICRI Active at UNEP LBS Con
eakin at ogp.noaa.gov
Thu Nov 9 11:25:41 EST 1995
Subject: Time: 10:20 AM
OFFICE MEMO ICRI Active at UNEP LBS Conference Date: 11/9/95
News from the ICRI Secretariat
ICRI and UNEP Intergovernmental Conference on
Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-Based Activities
International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI) concerns were addressed in
numerous different ways during the UNEP Intergovernmental Conference on
Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-Based Activities, as agreed by
the ICRI Executive Planning Committee.
ICRI diplomatic activities during the Intergovernmental Conference included:
- References in speeches by government officials and others such as UNEP
- Luncheon seminar to introduce delegations to ICRI
- Luncheon seminar on the economic impacts of pollution from land based
activities on fisheries and coral
- Fact sheet on coral and LBS distributed to all delegations as part of
- Information booth at Conference Educational Forum
- Diplomatic viewing of ICRI/USIA award-winning video during reception at
- Side-bar conversations with numerous delegations
U.S. Vice President Gore highlighted case studies of success in management
coral ecosystems and The International Coral Reef Initiative as part of his
remarks to the Ministers of the UNEP Intergovernmental Conference.
Partnerships with the Philippines and Thailand to promote sustainable coral
reef management (particularly fishery and tourism sectors) were linked with
the goals of the International Coral Reef Initiative. They were important
examples of his principal theme: "And the only way to stop the degradation
of the marine environment from land-based activities, is to share the
solutions, just as we share the oceans."
EXCERPT FROM VICE PRESIDENT GORE'S SPEECH AT THE INTERGOVERNMENTAL CONFERENCE
ON PROTECTION OF THE MARINE ENVIRONMENT FROM LAND-BASED ACTIVITIES
In the Philippines, where over-exploitation of that country's coral reefs
has become too common, we have seen similar community-based approaches.
Marine Management Committees, established by local villagers, have
established marine reserves -- including a fishery breeding sanctuary and a
surrounding buffer area for ecologically sustainable fishing. Also, fishing
methods that use dynamite and very small mesh gill nets (biomass fishing)
have been halted. The result has been an increase in species diversity, a
greater total fish yield and sustainable economic growth.
And, let me cite one more example -- the coral reefs off Thailand, in Phuket
Bay. Because of tourism and fishing, the coral reefs are vital to Thailand's
Worldwide, coral reefs are widely recognized as one of the world's
"essential life support systems." But, as we all know, they are in grave
danger. Some sources estimate that 10 percent of all reefs have been
degraded beyond recovery and that 20 to 30 percent may be lost -- primarily
due to human activity -- by the year 2010.
After the Earth Summit in 1992, the United States along with Japan,
Australia, Jamaica, France, the United Kingdom, the Philippines, and Sweden
embraced a major initiative to protect coral reefs in partnership with
nongovernmental organizations, development banks, the private sector, and
other coral reef nations such as Thailand.
The International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI) is not a treaty, a body of
cumbersome regulations, or a bureaucracy. It is a framework for interested
parties, public and private, to work together to tackle a common, shared
problem before it gets out of hand.
For Thailand, that has meant an extensive campaign for public education
which as taught the people of Thailand to give the highest importance to
investing in their own resources. This in turn has meant the development of
a series of small-scale projects which have brought concrete results.
More information about the Coral-list-old