Coral Triangle Day Focuses on the Real Threat: Plastic PollutionCatch of the Week
The Regional Secretariat of CTI-CFF, together with its 6 member countries represented by NCC, development partners, and neighbouring countries, celebrate the 5th annual Coral Triangle Day/CT Day on 9 June, 2016, with the theme “Save Coral Triangle – Stop Plastic Pollution”.
The theme aims to generate awareness and real action in addressing the growing number of plastic waste going into the ocean that endanger the marine ecosystem – from coral reefs, fishes, sea birds, endangered species, to food security in a large perspective.
Plastic pollution is becoming a major problem for coastal and marine life on the planet. It has been reported that roughly eight million tons of plastic waste are dumped into the ocean every year, according to a study released by the Ocean Conservancy and McKinsey Center for Business and Environment in 2015.
The report mentioned that five countries are responsible for up to 60 percent of plastic waste entering our ocean. In the Coral Triangle region, Indonesia and the Philippines are on the list, after China, Thailand, and Vietnam.
“Plastic pollution has become a real threat to marine ecosystem as it directly affects both the coral and marine species that live on it. In addition to that, the impact of plastic pollution could also disrupt food security for the people who are dependent on marine resources as their main livelihood,” said Widi A. Pratikto Ph.D., Executive Director of CTI-CFF.
“We can take some real actions in fighting plastic pollution in our oceans by pledging to help reduce marine debris and encourage others to do the same,” Pratikto added. This includes replacing disposable plastic bags with reusable bags and containers while making sure that coastal areas are kept clean and free of litter. It is also important to educate both locals and visitors about the harm that irresponsible discarding of rubbish such as plastic contributes to the marine ecosystem.
To further push this initiative in conjunction with Coral Triangle Day, the Regional Secretariat of CTI-CFF, in partnership with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and www.thecoraltriangle.com, have launched a social media campaign called #noplace4plastic.
The Instagram contest is expected to encourage users to post a creative photo of plastic where it should not be — in any natural environment, whether land or sea — using the hashtag #noplace4plastic. To join the contest, photos must be posted on Instagram, tagged with #noplace4plastic and #coraltriangle with a brief caption on what YOU’RE doing to cut down plastic use. Selected photos win a stay at an exclusive eco resort, a dive package, or dive gear. Five runnners-up take home a coffee table book. For more info on contest mechanics and prizes, go to #noplace4plastic Instagram Contest.
Through #noplace4plastic, CTI-CFF and its development partners aim to reach a multitude of people via social media and build important discussions around the call to reduce plastic waste to protect critical coastal and marine environments.
A number of sponsors have generously donated prizes to support this activity and entice more people to participate in this contest, including a luxury resort stay at Gaya Island Resort in Malaysia, a 5-day all-inclusive dive package with Scuba Junkie in Borneo, Cressi dive gear, BYO underwater guides, and Coral Triangle coffee table books.
To learn more about the #noplace4plastic Instagram contest and the other on-the-ground events happening in celebration of Coral Triangle Day, visit: www.coraltriangleday.org
About CT Day
CT Day was officially endorsed at the 4th CTI-CFF Ministerial Meeting in Putrajaya, Malaysia, on November 2012 as a regional awareness platform to highlight the importance of marine conservation and to raise awareness on this global center of marine biodiversity.
CT Day is also an interpretation of World Oceans Day (celebrated every June 8) in the Coral Triangle region. CT Day brings together individuals, institutions, and establishments from different parts of the region to celebrate the beauty and uniqueness of the Coral Triangle and to promote the importance of oceans through activities that may include, but not limited to, beach clean-ups, mangrove replanting activities, sustainable seafood shows and exhibitions, and educational and awareness-raising workshops for the youth, among many others.
CT Day is an open-sourced event, which means any organization or institution can celebrate the Coral Triangle Day in any part of the world, especially across the Coral Triangle region.