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Environmental groups call for increased protection of coral reefs

worlds most pressing environmental challenges from climate change to destructive fishing practices. Reefs host a variety of vital sea life and are key to the health of the worlds oceans. As we mark 2008 as the International Year of the Reef, we are calling on all stakeholders to step up the pace of action to protect reefs around the world.

In this year of the reef, we also want to recognize and increase our support to visionary leaders like President Tommy E. Remengesau, Jr. of Palau and President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia, who have both committed their nations and inspired their colleagues throughout Micronesia and the Coral Triangle to vastly expand their commitment to coral reef conservation, said Lynne Hale, director of the Global Marine Team of The Nature Conservancy. Coral reef conservation for many developing countries is about more than aesthetics. For the more than one billion people living in coastal communities across the tropics, healthy reefs mean food and a way to earn a living.

The continued existence of much of the worlds coral reefs is in doubt unless the worlds governments and private sector take immediate and concerted action to stem the loss. These ecosystems are vital to the economies of many countries and the well-being of millions of people, said Roger McManus, vice president for Conservation Internationals Marine Programs. Many reef systems in jeopardy today can be saved and recovered if we all work together to adapt for climate change and to prevent other human-caused stress. We are working in the Coral Triangle and on coral reefs around the world to ensure a future for these unique ecosystems.


Contact: Lisa Bowen
Conservation International

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