Ocean protection: Cebu City hosts meeting of international policy-makers and practitioners

Press release – for immediate release

Cebu City/ Hamburg/ Eschborn, 28 May 2014:  Marine ecosystems are of vital importance for Asia and the Pacific: the region’s rich oceans and coasts are home to diverse species and ecosystems that provide an important food source for over 120 million people as well as valuable services for tourism and recreation. Coral reefs and mangroves protect the coastlines from tsunamis and storms. These vital functions of the oceans are threatened by habitat loss, overfishing, pollution and climate change.

Theresa Mundita Lim, Director of the Biodiversity Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources of the Philippines, points out: “Sometimes we take for granted how much we are truly blessed in terms of our coastal and marine resources. We never seem to be contented as we continue to explore the depth of the oceans in search of hidden treasures adding to the pile of reasons why we should conserve and protect our natural resources.”

More than 100 policy-makers and practitioners from 17 countries in Asia and the Pacific are meeting in Cebu City to exchange experiences and solutions in marine and coastal development planning, management and governance. With the aim of discussing how successful approaches, methods and tools applied in coastal and marine environments can be scaled and replicated across Asia and the Pacific the four-day Regional Forum on Solutions for Oceans, Coasts and Human Wellbeing was opened with a High-Level Session in Cebu yesterday.

Anna Oposa, WFC Councillor and Co-Founder of Save Philippine Seas, highlights:  “With the Philippines hosting a regional forum for sustainable ocean management it is a good opportunity to develop a more holistic approach to ocean governance and protection for our country and beyond – putting the whole marine and coastal ecosystem at its heart.” Anna Oposa is the only Filipino member of the World Future Council. In 2012, the Council awarded its Silver Future Policy Award to the comprehensive policy protecting the Tubbataha Reefs, the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park Act – one of the solutions being presented at the forum in Cebu.

The Regional Forum on Solutions for Oceans, Coasts and Human Wellbeing is organized by the Blue Solutions Initiative, the World Future Council and with support of the Lighthouse Foundation. It is convened in collaboration with the Sustainable Ocean Initiative (SOI) of the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The event is hosted in partnership with the Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Republic of the Philippines.

Media Contacts

World Future Council
Anne Reis
Phone: +49 40 30 70 914-16
Fax: +49 40 30 70 914-14

WFC in the Philippines
Janne Rohe
Phone: +49-1577-5232989

The World Future Council

The World Future Council brings the interests of future generations to the centre of policy-making. Its up to 50 eminent members from around the globe have already successfully promoted change. The Council addresses challenges to our common future and provides decision makers with effective policy solutions. In close cooperation with civil society actors, parliamentarians, governments, business and international organizations the World Future Council identifies “best policies” around the globe. The World Future Council is registered as a charitable foundation in Hamburg, Germany.

Blue Solutions

Through the Blue Solutions Initiative, four leading environment, conservation and development institutions combine their efforts to develop and bring together innovative ocean management and governance approaches – focusing on holistic solutions for a sustainable use of marine and coastal biodiversity and natural resources. By collating best practices, testing new approaches, enhancing capacities and fostering knowledge exchange and learning, action is being supported at local, national, regional and global levels. Blue Solutions is implemented by GIZ in direct partnership with GRID-Arendal, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). Funding for the project is provided by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) through its International Climate Initiative (ICI).