Protect our reefs: Minister
Tuesday, March 04, 2008
Source: The Fiji Times Online
A MORE coordinated approach is needed from government and the community to ensure that our coral reefs are protected.
Speaking at the launch of the International Year of the Coral Reefs at the Suva Civic Auditorium yesterday, interim Agriculture Minister Joketani Cokanasiga said our actions affected the environment.
He said teachers and students should realise the value of coral reefs because they provided protection to our coasts and were home to many marine organisms.
He said the theme for this year Protect the reef from the mountains to the sea said a lot about how people should care for their coral reefs.
"Most of the commercial enterprises in Fiji are based near coastal areas and our tourism industry thrives on the beauty of our coral reefs," he said.
"If we overuse the land beside the sea then this will lead to erosion of the soil which will later end up in the ocean, damaging the marine life including our coral reefs."
Mr Cokanasiga said there was a need for balance between development and conservation and this could only be achieved if government and the community joined forces.
Principal Research Officer Aisake Batibasaga said research gathered from coral reefs in the outlying islands indicated a vibrant ecosystem compared to those closer to the main urban centres.
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