MILLIONS of people across the globe, including Filipinos, depend on coral reefs for their livelihood.
But it is lamentable and saddening that global warming, polluted waters and direct human harm, such as through unethical overfishing, continue to destroy the world’s remaining coral reefs.
The Philippines, aware that the loss of reefs would have untold consequences for fisheries and other industries, hopes to spark greater interest in the conservation and protection of coral reefs.
During the recently-concluded 4th Asia-Pacific Coral Reef Symposium (APCRS) in Cebu City, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) called for more research on coral reef preservation.
“We recognize that science is pivotal in shaping plans, policies and programs for coral reefs and associated ecosystems,” according to DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu, a former military general.
In his speech at the closing of the symposium, Cimatu stressed the importance of continuing to support scientists and provide more investments to generate relevant researches.
The symposium, held from June 4 to 8, brought together 600 scientists and researchers from 34 countries who champion coral reef preservation in the Asia-Pacific region.
Theme of this year’s APCRS was “Coral Reefs of the Asia-Pacific Region: Working Together Amidst Contemporary Challenges.”
Cimatu called on the governments in the region to work hand in hand in order to translate research outputs, studies, knowledge and experiences into implementable policies and programs.
Without doubt, the government is doing a great job in protecting and conserving the country’s coral reefs, which are being threatened by rising ocean temperatures.