Kota Marudu Member of Parliament

Coral Triangle Initiative Set To Have Permanent Regional Secretariat

PUTRAJAYA, November 27 (Bernama) -- The Coral Triangle Initiative formed by six countries to protect one of the most diverse marine area, is set to have a Permanent Regional Secretariat following the conclusion of the 4th CTI Ministerial Meeting here.

At the meeting hosted by Malaysia, Malaysia, Timor Leste and Solomon Islands signed the agreement that gives consensus to the setting up of the permanent secretariat in Manado, Indonesia. Indonesia was the first to sign the agreement in October last year.

"The ratification of the agreement is just a first step towards the realisation of the CTI. Many other important arrangements such as the financial architecture and coordination, and communication mechanisms need to be put in place to enable the Regional Plan of Action to be implemented effectively," said Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Dr Maximus Ongkili, who is current chair of the CTI Council of Ministers.

The CTI protocol requires at least four of the six member countries to sign the Agreement in order to formalise institutional arrangements for the setting up of the permanent Regional Secretariat.

Dr Ongkili signed on behalf of Malaysia while Timor Leste was represented by its Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Mariano ASSANAMI and the Soloman Islands by its Minister for Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology Bradley Tovosia.

The meeting was attended by ministers and representatives of the six member countries of Malaysia, Indonesia, Solomon Islands, Timor Leste, Papua New Guinea and the Philippines.

The CTI members also inked the Putrajaya Joint Ministerial Statement which outlined the progress and achievements made so far and the way forward for the body.

One of the main reasons the CTI was formed is to address urgent threats facing the Coral Triangle, namely the threat of extinction on the coral reefs due to carbon emission.

Dr Ongkili also said Malaysia was keen to promote a Blue Economy or blue carbon approach that uses carbon accounting to quantify ecosystem service value.

"The Tun Mustapa Park in Sabah is targeted to be declared a new marine conservation area by 2015. It will serve as a pilot project for our blue carbon approach that integrates environmental conservation and restoration with climate change adaptation and sustainability," he said.