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15 May 2009
Australian Environment Minister, Peter Garrett will today announce more than $2 million in immediate funding for critical projects for the Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI) at a meeting of the CTI nations in Manado, Indonesia.
Mr Garrett said Australia's funding is the first phase of an ongoing plan to support the CTI and would support early action by Coral Triangle countries as well as the permanent CTI Regional Secretariat.
"This investment will focus on areas where we can make the greatest contribution by sharing our knowledge and directly supporting capacity building in marine biodiversity conservation, sustainable fisheries, protecting vulnerable marine species and community empowerment," Mr Garrett said.
"The partnership between Indonesia, Timor Leste, the Philippines, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands is about ensuring better marine conservation and sustainable oceans management and I applaud the CTI nations for their vision and commitment."
On Wednesday the Minister joined world leaders, ministers and leading marine experts in signing the Manado Oceans Declaration.
Mr Garrett said Australia welcomed Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's leadership in hosting the World Oceans Conference and in developing the declaration.
"This declaration signifies a global consensus. Ocean health is a priority and we have to take collective action and not ignore the effects of climate change on oceans and coasts," Mr Garrett said.
"Our oceans and coasts are already under extreme pressure from climate change, expanding populations, coastal development, unsustainable and destructive fishing practices, marine invasive species, land run-off and marine pollution and this declaration is a call to governments to work together in responding to these threats. It is an important step forward," he said.