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WWF calls on Palawan residents to help protect Coral Triangle

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, May 31 — The World Wildlife Fund-Coral Triangle Programme (WWF-CTP) is calling on Palawan residents to help protect the coral triangle region, including the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park (TRNP), to sustain exceptional marine and coastal resources.

In a recent visit to Palawan, Paulo Mangahas, communications manager for the WWF Coral Triangle Program, called on residents of the province to protect the TRNP and all other vital coral reef areas since they form the Philippines’ part in the coral triangle with those in the marine waters of Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste.

The Coral Triangle is a geographical term named for its reference to a “roughly triangular area of the tropical marine waters of the said countries that is reported to have at least 500 species of reef-building corals in each eco-region.”

The region encompasses portions of two bio-geographic regions: “the Indonesian-Philippines Region, and the Far Southwestern Pacific Region. It is known as the global center of marine biodiversity and a global priority for conservation.”

Known too as the “Amazon of the Seas,” the coral triangle is 5.7 million square kilometers of ocean waters, and its resources are said to sustain the lives of over 120 million people in all countries that forms its.

Mangahas said the WWF takes the region top priority for marine conservation and it is addressing the risks it is confronting through the coral triangle program.

“Para sa mga hindi nakakaalam, ang Coral Triangle ay isang biodiversity area sa ating planet, at lahat ng marine life na matatagpuan dito. Hindi alam ng lahat ng tao ay alam na importante ito dahil dito nanggagaling ang lahat ng isda na kinakain natin (For the information of everyone who does not know, the Coral Triangle is a key biodiversity area in our planet, and all the marine life that can be found here. Not all people know that it is important because all the fish we consume come from here),” Mangahas said.

Among the threats to the Coral Triangle, said Mangahas, is global warming that can cause high rates of mortality.

Per report of the WWF, the “1997-98 El Niño weather event triggered the largest worldwide coral bleaching ever recorded, and in Southeast Asia, an estimated 18% of the region’s coral reefs were damaged.”

At unsustainable rates, the tuna, shark fin, turtle products, and reef fish are also being taken, which threatens the coral region.(PNA)

PDS/CARF/PJN

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