British group offers to help in Guimaras cleanup

September 10, 2006

By Gil C. Cabacungan Jr.

HELSINKI, Finland — Coral Cay, a British environment conservation group which has done extensive research on the country’s vast coral reefs, has offered to help the Philippines in the cleanup of the massive oil spill off the coast of Guimaras Island.

This was revealed by Victoria Bataclan, the Philippine ambassador to Sweden and the rest of the Nordic countries, who said President Macapagal-Arroyo was open to discussing Coral Cay’s offer.

Coral Cay is a partner of the Philippine Reef & Rainforest project at Danjungan Island focusing mainly on preserving the marine part of the project. It also sent volunteers for a conservation project in Taytay Bay in Palawan.

Bataclan, however, could not provide any details on Coral Cay’s proposal. The President might meet with Coral Cay’s representatives when she visits London as part of her five-nation trip.

Bataclan said that in the face of the larger ecological threat posed by the Guimaras oil spill, the President has decided to pursue the adoption of the Ocean Initiative at the Sixth Asian-European Meeting (Asem) here.

The President first proposed the Asem Ocean Initiative at the Senior Officials Meeting held in Hanoi two years ago to promote Asia-Europe cooperation and dialog in marine environmental protection and marine scientific research.

Bataclan said both Indonesia and Portugal have backed up this initiative at the Asem.

(For the full story, click British group, Sept. 9, 2006.)


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