Saturday, 12 September 2015

Our coral reefs are among the most valuable resources we have.

By Niniu Oligao, who was in Bali, Indonesia for the Coral Triangle Sustainable Marine Tourism Conference.

The 4th Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries, and Food security Regional Business Forum has brought together representatives of the six governments- Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Timor Leste, private sector, non-government organizations, and scholars to Bali, Indonesia from August 27 to August 29, 2015.

"Since the launch of the Coral Triangle Initiative in 2009, Indonesia has worked together with our partner countries to lead efforts in sustaining the Coral Triangle and we are very proud to host this Forum and welcome our fellow leaders and visionaries from the Coral Triangle region and the rest of the world to promote sustainable marine tourism agenda," said Safri Baharudin, Deputy of Human Resources, Science and Maritime Culture of Indonesia Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs.

“This forum is aligned to vision of the government to strengthen Indonesia as a maritime nation,” he added.

This year’s meeting theme is “Charting the Future of the Coral Triangle as a Global Sustainable Tourism Destination”.

Outgoing Minister for Culture and Tourism for Solomon Islands, Honourable Bartholomew Parapolo deliverying his key note speech.

In his keynote address, Executive Director of CTI- CFF Regional Secretariat, Dr Widi Pratikto said that the forum’s theme reflects the central aspiration of the event, to address and find solutions to the challenges threatening our ocean, especially in the Coral Triangle region.

“It requires commitments and contributions from everyone”, he added.

The 4th CTI- CFF Regional Business Forum aimed to provide a platform for the discovery of innovative and collaborative solutions to promote best practices for responsible tourism, private sector leadership in sustainable and responsible tourism, as well as showcase the Coral Triangle as a distinctive brand, a regional sustainable marine tourism destination that benefits local communities.

We are fortunate to live in a region which is so rich in marine ecosystems. Our rich coral ecosystems set the bench mark to the future of our marine tourism. Thousands or even millions have visited our nations because of the pristine marine ecosystems, including the coral reefs.

“It is our hope that these events will result in solid recommendations that will allow more stakeholders to be more committed in practicing sustainable marine tourism in their respected countries, for the long run”, according to Dr. Widi.

The forum included some events: the Coral Triangle Sustainable Marine Tourism Conference, the Coral Triangle Marine Tourism Expo, and the Coral Triangle Marine Tourism Investment Forum and Business to Business meeting.

Conference participants in a group picture on the last day.

Solomon Islands delegation, led by Honourable Bartholomew Parapolo, caretaker Minister of Culture and Tourism, consisted of the Department of Tourism official, Solomon Islands Tourism for Inclusive Development Coordinator, Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau Marketing and marketing officer, a local tourist operator (Oravae Cottages) attended the forum and the expo.