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Asia-Pacific nations agree to protect reef network

MANADO, Indonesia (AP) - Six Asia-Pacific countries have agreed
on a wide-ranging plan to protect one of the world's largest
networks of coral reefs.
The agreement at the World Oceans Conference creates a voluntary
management plan for an area that spans Indonesia, the Philippines,
Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and East Timor. It
accounts for a third of the world's coral reefs and 35 percent of
coral reef fish species.
The countries are promising to reduce pollution, eliminate
overfishing and improve the livelihoods of impoverished coastal
communities.
Several governments committed money, including the United
States, which will donate $40 million over five years.
Scientists, activists and government officials warned that
climate change could wipe out entire ecosystems and destroy
livelihoods and homes of up to 100 million people this century in
Southeast Asia if nothing is done.


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