Why Filipinos must help save world's oceans

Posted at 06/18/2014 3:46 AM

MANILA - Global environmental advocates are urging Filipinos to join efforts in saving the oceans and promoting a healthier planet.

According to data from World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), more than 85 percent of the reefs in the Coral Triangle--which spans the waters of the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Timor Leste--are directly threatened by overfishing and illegal fishing.

Studies also show that demand for fish will rise with the ever-growing population numbers, with the Philippines set to hit the 140 million mark in 2030.

In a video posted by the U.S. Embassy in Manila, WWF - Philippines Ambassador Marc Nelson asked Filipinos to share success stories or initiatives in protecting marine life on social media.

Nelson's invitation is in line with the U.S. State Department's two-day international oceans conference, "Our Ocean," held in Washington D.C.

Among the country's delegates to the conference were Climate Change Commission Secretary Mary Ann Lucille L. Sering and WWF - Philippines National Ambassador Rovilson Fernandez.

In Manila, the U.S. Embassy held its own version of the "Oceans" seminar with guests speakers that included WWF - Philippines President and CEO Lory Tan among others.

Meanwhile, in Washington D.C. it was U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry who opened the two-day "Oceans" international conference.

He called for a global agreement on protecting oceans, which he said were under threat from overfishing, marine pollution. and acidification from climate change.

Kerry believes that it is now time to walk the talk and move beyond studies by taking specific steps in protecting marine wildlife.

He said protecting the oceans is a shared responsibility of all nations.

"We are not going to meet this challenge unless the community of nations comes together around a single comprehensive global ocean strategy," Kerry said.- with reports from Reuters, Vince Garcia, ABS-CBNnews.com