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WOC meeting issues marine environment declaration
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The ongoing World Ocean Conference ended Thursday's session with the issue of the Manado Ocean Declaration on marine environment protection.

The 21-point declaration was agreed in the conference as a roadmap to the next WOC meeting in Denmark's Copenhagen, and in the Kyoto Protocol and post-Kyoto Protocol talks.

Indonesian Environment Minister Rachmat Witoelar said that the meeting achieved success both in substance and implementation.

"As the Indonesian Environment Minister, I see that what we did here is a groundbreaking step and will have an impact on the world. For Indonesia, the declaration will support its development and prosper. However, we need to extend its scale to the world, not only the oceans," said Witoelar in a press conference after the declaration.

The Marine and Fisheries Minister Freddy Numberi said that the ocean issue was "a matter of political will." "Ocean matters will be included in the next talks on the scale of the whole world. This is important because as an archipelago country surrounded by oceans, all our interests will be represented," said Numberi.

Among the 21 points suggested in the declaration, the countries agreed to seek for long-term conservation, sustainable use and management of marine living resources and coastal habitats.

They also agreed to reduce pollution of ocean, coastal and land areas, and to promote sustainable management of fisheries in accordance with relevant international agreement.

They also were in one voice in promoting the Large Marine Ecosystem approach that enhances institutional and international cooperation among countries that share marine ecosystems and resources.

(Xinhua News Agency May 15, 2009)

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