Countries should invest more in coral reef research
Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu said governments must invest more in scientific research for the conservation and protection of the world’s coral reefs.
Coral reefs are important for many different reasons aside from supposedly containing the most diverse ecosystems on the planet.
They protect coastlines from the damaging effects of wave action and tropical storms, provide habitats and shelter for many marine organisms, among others.
However, coral reefs have suffered because of global warming, polluted waters and more direct human harm, such as through unethical overfishing.
“We recognize that science is pivotal in shaping plans, policies and programs for coral reefs and associated ecosystems. It is thus imperative that we continue to support scientists and provide investment to generate more relevant researches,” Cimatu said during the 4th Asia-Pacific Coral Reef Symposium (APCRS).
The symposium, which the Philippines hosted, brought together around 600 scientists and researchers from 34 countries who champion coral reef research and conservation in the Asia-Pacific region.
It was organized by the Biodiversity Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, in partnership with the University of the Philippines-Marine Science Institute.
During the event, Cimatu underscored the need to create a regional platform not just for sharing of ideas, but a “community bound with a common vision and passion for the environment and for the ocean.”
“Let us work hand in hand in order to translate all of these research outputs, studies, knowledge and experiences into implementable policies and programs,” Cimatu said.