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 VI.

Statement of Dr. Seisho Higa,
Director-General of the Environment and Health Department,
Okinawa Prefectural Government

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. I am pleased to give an address this morning representing the Okinawa Prefecture and I would like to give a hearty welcome to all of you attending the International Coral Reef Initiative Second East Asian Seas Regional Workshop
Today we convene in Okinawa, a prefecture located at the southern end of Japan. It has over 160 islands with subtropical oceanic climate and subtropical fauna and flora, and an environment of diverse and varied interests including the beautiful coral reefs that attract attention from Japan and other countries.
Once known as an independent kingdom of the Ryukyus, this island kingdom used its geographical advantage to establish trade networks with South East Asian countries including China and Thailand. Today, the prefectural government is again dedicated to using this geographical advantage to promote greater understanding of culture, technology, and exchanges with other countries.
With this backdrop, we are especially pleased in hosting this East Asian Regional Workshop for ICRI, because of its focus on the conservation of corals.
In recent years, we have had damages caused by the crown-of-thorns starfish throughout Okinawa, not to mention the severe damage caused by red soil erosion. Preserving our oceans for the future and maintaining sustainable management to ensure sustainable use shall be the core policy pursued by our prefectural government.
I look forward to the debate and discussion in this workshop to give rise to wonderful ideas so that we can apply them to our islands.
In closing, let me express my appreciation to all the people from the Environment Agency, from overseas and other areas for their support in this workshop today. Thank you very much.

Ministry of the Environment Government of Japan

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