The International Conference on Status and Protection of Coral Reefs (STAPCOR – 2018) with the theme “Reef for Life” was inaugurated by Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Harsh Vardhan on Monday at Bangaram coral island in Lakshadweep.
About 150 delegates from India and abroad are participating in the event at Bangaram Island from October 22-24, 2018. The delegates and keynote speakers for technical deliberations have come from United State of America, United Kingdom, Kuwait, Italy, France, Maldives and Sri Lanka.
In his inaugural address, the Minister highlighted the importance of coral reefs and the need for its protection, emphasising on converting science into adequate policies for conservation. Evolving effective management strategies leading to restoration of coral reef, along with the practice of green good deed for behavioural change and social responsibility in day to day life was also emphasized.
The Minister congratulated the Department of Environment & Forest for organizing the event and also appreciated the efforts of the Lakshadweep Administration in making Lakshadweep Islands free from plastics.
Lakshadweep Administrator Farooq Khan, in his presidential address, said Lakshadweep will soon establish an International Atoll Research Centre, with world class infrastructures for scientific research on corals.
Chief Wildlife Warden and Secretary, Environment &Forests, Lakshadweep Administration Damodhar A T, welcomed the gathering and narrated the effect of climate change and global warming along with El Nino on the corals lead to heavy bleaching internationally during the year 1998. This led to the foundation of STAPCOR with a decision to hold an international conference in every 10 years to review the status and progress of coral reefs all over the world.
The Department of Environment and Forest, Union Territory of Lakshadweep Administration organised this mega conference with the technical support of Zoological Survey of India and in association with Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, IUCN, ENVIS in consonance with the declaration of the year 2018 as the 3rd decadal International Year of Reefs.
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