O Timor-Leste é um dos países membros do Coral Triangle Initiative, um acordo entre 6 países que visa desenvolver planos de ações costeiras nos âmbitos ecológicos e sociais nestas nações. Abaixo, uma notícia sobre as áreas de proteção marinha proposta pela iniciativa. Em breve, detalharei melhor a relação do CTI e do Timor-Leste.
Coral Triangle Privatization Plan Opposed
By MARVYN N. BENANING
Source: Manila Bulletin
May 3, 2012, 3:13pm
MANILA, Philippines - An alliance of Southeast Asian fisheries groups is opposing a plan of the member-states of the Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI) to forge Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) ostensibly to protect the center of global marine biodiversity.
The Southeast Asia Fish for Justice (SEAFish) renewed its appeal for officials of the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Timor Leste not to establish Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in the 6-million-square-kilometer waters of the Coral Triangle without consulting millions of fishermen engaged in subsistence fisheries.
Fisheries, agriculture and environment ministers from the six countries are actually seeking financial support from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the key financial backer of the CTI.
SEAFish has 16 member-organizations, 14 of which are non-government organizations (NGOs) and two national fisherfolk federations from within and outside the region.
These groups are: FACT of Cambodia; KONPHALINDO, KIARA, Nen Mas IL, Telapak and WALHI of Indoneisa; CASCO, ELAC, KM, LAFCCOD, PROCESS, Tambuyog Development Center and Developers of the Philippines; MCD of Vietnam; ISANET of the US, and; Oxfam units in East Asia.
SEAFish claims that in Southeast Asia, between 25 million and 35 million people are di¬rectly engaged in fisheries as a livelihood. Moreover, at least 365 million people depend on fishery products for food and protein intake.
It adds that assessments of the quality of ecosystems that fishery industries rely on show that approxi¬mately 55 percent of the coral reefs in the region are seriously damaged and 75 percent of formerly existing mangrove habitats have disappeared.
Fisheries resources in South and Southeast Asia are under increasing pressure even as it contributes between 5 percent and 10 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) of the region and almost $8 billion in export earnings.
For SEAFish, the four major threats on fishery resources and ecosystems are: Rapidly growing populations; diminishing natural resources; increasing trade link¬ages and the facilitation of extraction and trade of fishery commodities for international markets, and; weak domestic governance systems.
The network was officially established in August 2003 in a re¬gional conference in Manila when 14 NGOs decided to combine forces to develop an international lobby, advocacy, and campaigning platform on fisheries and fisheries development issues in the region.
SEAFish stressed that the six member-states of the CTI have linked up after substantial multilateral and foreign investments without consulting marginal fishermen and in the guise of protecting nations with the least capacity to respond to tsunamis, storm surges and floods as well as coastal degradation.
Speaking on behalf of SEAFish, Ruperto Aleroza said the ADB and other agencies involved with CTI should replace its current ap¬proach with a community-based coastal resource management (CBCRM) approach to ensure the conservation of the marine re¬sources in the Coral Triangle while assuring the participation of small fishers and fish farmers in fisheries management and achieve inclusive growth.
CTI’s top-down approach is contrary to the theme of “Inclusive Growth through Better Governance and Partnerships” of the 45th ADB Annual Meeting which is now ongoing at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC).
“Contrary to ADB’s theme, CTI uses a top-down or even technocratic approach to fisheries management. Thus there is very little or no participation of small fishers and other stakeholders in the coastal communities, especially in program planning and implemen¬tation. Civil society participation in CTI is limited to big international NGOs, namely the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF), Conservation International and The Nature Con¬servancy,” Aleroza said.
CTI has been implemented in the Coral Triangle since 2007 with ample funding from the ADB.
Aleroza stressed that MPAs, where fishing will be prohibited, are being mulled without consult¬ing with small fishermen.
Worse, he said SEAFish member-organizations in the Coral Triangle have claimed that MPAs are being established in traditional fishing grounds, and would hurt small fisherfolk.
He noted that CTI’s Plan of Action and its sub-projects are funded initially with $443 million and are designed for conservation of marine resources and the establish¬ment of large-scale MPAs.