Coral Triangle Example in Asia Leadership Program
Illustrating the Manado Ocean Declaration as an example of high level commitment and intergovernmental cooperation, Pet-Soede said such a move from heads of states drew attention on the serious issues and threats of coastal and marine environments.
“The Manado Ocean Declaration stressed the need for national and regional actions for proper management of coastal and marine ecosystems,” she said addressing almost 50 selected officials from the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) developing member countries (DMCs) during the Sustainable Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries session last 14 February.
“In particular, it highlighted the effects of climate change that buffer coastal communities from extreme weather events and tried to address these concerns by exploring on new approaches that marries sustainability with economic development.”
Pet-Soede said that since the forming of the Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries and Food Security (CTI-CFF), more innovative solutions have come up like engaging private sectors in the solutions market. She provided the example where the commitment by a company like Walmart, one of the world’s largest retailers that houses roughly 60,000 suppliers, to sourcing sustainable seafood, has impacted several fisheries in the Coral Triangle to move onto a fisheries improvement path towards sustainable fisheries and Marine Stewardship Council certification.
“At that time, Walmart pledged to source all of their fresh and frozen wild caught seafood from Marine Stewardship Council-certified fisheries,” she said. “This is a significant step to influencing its suppliers globally.”
She further stated that interesting and positive things are happening in the Coral Triangle region like improving sustainable fisheries and advancing programmes in the tourism sector. However, she noted that strong will and leadership is at the core to sustain the momentum of these exciting changes—a challenge she posed to governments.
“The government has an important role to play in implementing best practices in environmental management, in access to capital, and in playing goodwill to operate profitably to sustain food and livelihoods, as well as the marine diversity in this important region, to secure our shared future for the next generation,” she concluded.
The Asia Leadership Programme on Sustainable Development (SD) and Climate Change (CC) was held last 2-17 February in Delhi, India. It aimed at providing a platform for extensive knowledge sharing and dialogue among Development Member Countries’ (DMCs) policy makers, ADB and knowledge-based partners; as well as developing capacity in DMCs to integrate SD and CC priorities into policies, strategies, and programs for economic and social development.