20 Nov 2009

Coral Triangle group calls for massive emissions cut

2:50 pm on 20 November 2009

The six member countries of the Coral Triangle group say that developed countries should reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50 percent below 1990 levels by 2015.

Environment ministers from the group's members - Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Thailand, East Timor and Solomon Islands - have been in Honiara this week for the fifth Coral Triangle Initiative senior officials meeting.

The Solomons Minister for Environment Gordon Darcy Lilo says they have identified three critical threats to their marine ecosystem: sea-level rise, ocean acidification and coral bleaching.

With a new secretariat for the group being established in Indonesia, Mr Lilo says the Coral Triangle countries have been galvanised into a major drive for action on climate change.

"In spite of the fact that 53 percent of the whole world coral are within this triangle, if we continue the current practices that we are doing, there is no reason for us not to believe that they are at threat, because the sea-level rise that is happening right now is also changing the growth of the corals and is affecting the whole marine ecosystem."

Gordon Darcy Lilo