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PRESS RELEASE February 11, 2001

The future of coral reefs across Indonesia has brought a group of specialists to the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).

Sixteen marine and coral experts from Indonesia’s Coral Reef Rehabilitation Management Program (COREMAP) spent the week in Samoa to look into local coral conservation measures and programs.

In welcoming the visitors, SPREP’s Officer in Charge, Ms. Neva Wendt, said SPREP was keen to share ideas with COREMAP in the interests of a sustainable environment for all.

Discussion between COREMAP and SPREP program officers covered marine and terrestrial conservation in the region and international waters. Long-term lessons learned will be applied to the 75,000 square kilometers (30,00 square miles) of coral across five provinces that COREMAP monitors.

Included in the delegation were several members of the Biak district of the Indonesian province of Irian Jaya, where COREMAP has maintained a coral conservation program over the last four years.

Director Dr. Nonji Angurerah says COREMAP also had been keen to come to Samoa, because there were some shared traditions between Polynesians and Biak people that had potential for maintaining their coral reefs.

A spokesperson for Biak, Dr. Ing Sroyer, says they had noted several methods that would assist in the protection of their reefs against a number of environmental hazards, including dynamite fishing and coral bleaching.

"We hope that the Polynesian system could be adapted to our local traditions to help protect what we have."

The group returns to Indonesia tomorrow.

More Information? Chris Peteru E-mail: 

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