Coral Triangle talks center on opportunity
In her opening address to the Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI) Business Summit in Manila on Tuesday, Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo called on companies to rethink the way they do business and harmonize economic interests with environmental protection.
“Business can thrive not despite of, but because of, some environmental practices,” she said. “I call on you today to join a new breed of businessmen, and I invite you to take a look at environmentally sound business opportunities in the countries that comprise the Coral Triangle.”
The Coral Triangle covers 6 million square kilometres of the Indian and Pacific oceans and includes Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Solomon Islands and Timor Leste. The area is home to 80 of the world’s coral species and sustains the lives of some 120 million people, according to President Arroyo.
The CTI Business Summit is designed to bring together the major players in the seafood, tourism and oil industries, as well as government officials, to discuss the region’s future. The two-day event has attracted more than 100 businesses and government agencies.
“Thankfully, there are emerging opportunities for businesses to operate more responsibly and growing demands from consumers for greener products. This summit will help business identify what those opportunities are,” said Dr. Lida Pet-Soude, head of the World Wildlife Fund CTI Program, ahead of the summit.
In her closing remarks on Tuesday, President Arroyo said, “It is imperative that we work to protect this shared coastal resource.”
The CTI Business Summit is co-hosted by the World Wildlife Fund and Philippine government, with assistance from the U.S. Agency for International Development.