Nature & Parks

Report of the International Coral Reef Initiative(ICRI) -- Second Regional Workshop for the East Asian Seas

[International Cooperation] Report of the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI)

Annex V.

Opening Address of Mr. Hiroshi Sawamura,
Director General of the Nature Conservation Bureau,
the Environment Agency of Japan

I am honored to address the opening of the International Coral Reef Initiative Second Regional Workshop for the East Asian Seas as the representative Of the Organizing Committee.
Originating from a common agenda of bilateral Japan-U.S. cooperation, the International Coral Reef Initiative gave rise to the Call to Action and its corresponding Framework for Action from the workshop at Dumaguete City, Republic of the Philippines in 1995. The First Regional Workshop for the East Asian Seas convened in Bali, Indonesia last March, and adopted a Regional Strategy, which has proceeded to yield steady results. For Japan, our focus is on actions that promote the conservation of coral reefs in this particular region.
This is the International Year of the Reefs. The understanding and cooperation of the public, especially those who live in the area and whose lives are closely intertwined with the coral reefs, are essential if we are to conserve coral reefs. To this end, we saw the need for the people of Okinawa and citizens of the world to focus on the condition of the world's coral reefs and the importance of their conservation.
Therefore, we arranged the international coral reef symposium as a part of this workshop. The symposium facilitated the exchange of various ideas on coral reefs, and I am sure, it has also promoted a better understanding of the goals of the International Coral Reef Initiative.
Today, in convening the Second Regional Workshop for the East Asian Seas, we have the following main agenda:

  1. Work toward the implementation of the Regional Strategy adopted last year and promote coastal management practices in each nation .
  2. Establish a node for the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network in this region.
  3. Promote a variety of activities to enhance the promotion of the International Year of the Reefs.

We look forward to diverse and active debate, and significant advances in coral reef conservation to emerge from today's gathering of government representatives, experts and representatives of international organizations from around the world.
In closing, as a member of the Organizing Committee, I reaffirm our resolve to support today's workshop in any way to secure meaningful results and hereby ask for the collaboration and cooperation of all participants. May I also express my hopes that you will explore and enjoy the local color and heritage of the Okinawa Prefecture.


Ministry of the Environment Government of Japan

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