PH tells neighbors to scale up action towards improved food security
The Philippine government has ended its two-year chairmanship of the Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries and Food Security (CTI-CFF) with a call for nations within one of the world’s biggest and most important marine regions to scale up efforts to achieve widespread impact.
“Moving forward, we must shift our focus on actions that can really deliver higher level of outcomes such as poverty reduction and improved food security,” Environment Undersecretary Jonas Leones said.
Leones was speaking during the 14th CTI-CFF Senior Officials Meeting recently held in Makati City.
The two-day meeting is one of the culminating activities for the Philippine chairmanship of CTI-CFF, a multilateral partnership of six countries working together to sustain extraordinary marine and coastal resources by addressing crucial issues, such as food security, climate change and marine biodiversity.
The six countries are Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste and the Philippines, collectively known as Coral Triangle 6 or CT6.
Leones, chair of the CTI-CFF Committee of Senior Officials, said the chairmanship of the Philippines for the past two years was not easy because it has been challenged with a number of difficulties that caused a small hiccup in the organization.
The region, he said, also suffered from natural disasters that have cost lives and economic losses among CT6 nations, further aggravating what has already been a difficult sector to manage.
“Our coastal communities which have always relied on the richness of our seas remain highly vulnerable to an ever changing environment, which is why there is a need to develop programs and initiatives that are more adaptive and sustainable,” Leones said.
Leones, however, believed the region has already moved on from “difficult times” and was now “eager to keep on working to achieve our common goals.”