Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia was bestowed the Coral Conservation Prize on September 19, 2014, in San Francisco, the United States, for its sustainable coral management, announced the Marine Affairs and Fisheries Ministry (MMAF).

MMAF conveyed that this achievement was a result of three strategic measures adopted by the Indonesian government, which are strong commitment towards the coral conservation policy by establishing marine conservation management; combining marine resource management and protection followed by prudential resource utilization; and strengthening global partnership in coral reef management, Minister of Marine Affairs and Fisheries Sharif C. Sutardjo stated here on Monday.

"I encourage the global community to undertake systemic, comprehensive, and synchronized efforts, which will lead to the establishment of the policy in coral reef utilization and management," noted Minister Sutardjo who received the award.

On the same occasion, two Indonesian coral reef activists, Nyoman Sugiarta and Abdul Manap, were named the winners of the Coral Conservation Prize presented by Coral Reef Alliance for their significant roles in saving and conserving coral reefs. They eliminated seven nominees from Fiji, Hawaii, Honduras, Mexico, and Palmyra.

The coral reefs are inexplicably beneficial, both ecologically and economically. With regard to the pearl sector alone, it makes Indonesia the largest pearl producing country since 2005, which claims 50 percent of the worlds pearl production with an export value of more than US$29 million.

During the occasion, Sharif reminded the attendees that exploitation, which is not backed up by sufficient and sustainable long-term conservation, will increase the risk of coral extinction. According to the report of Washingtons World Resource Institute (WRI), it is forecast that if overexploitation continues at the same pace then the worlds coral reefs will eventually become extinct by 2050.

To overcome all forms of threat, MMAF constantly protects and manages the marine and fishery resources sustainably through various marine conservation initiatives. The commitment has also been realized by the establishment of the Marine Protected Area spanning 16 million hectares.

MMAF is also actively engaged in numerous regional and multilateral forums, such as the Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI), World Coral Reef Conference (WCRC), World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Leibniz-Zentrum for Marine Tropenkologie (ZMT), to name a few, the minister noted in a written statement.

Editor: Priyambodo RH
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