TWENTY four signatories from Fiji are among 2500 who've joined hundreds of scientists from around the world endorsing a Consensus Statement on Climate Change and Coral Reefs.
The 24 signatories include scientists, marine specialists, ocean conservationists and resource managers from the University of the South Pacific and regional and non-governmental organisations who have thrown their support behind calls for urgent action for the preservation of coral reefs.
The consensus statement was made known for the first time on Monday, July 9 - day one of the week-long 12th International Coral Reef Symposium at the Cairns Convention Centre in Cairns, Queensland, Australia.
Patrick Fong from the USP's Institute of Applied Sciences who is one of the endorsees to the consensus statement said this spelt good news for Fiji.
Mr Fong said that participating on an international platform such as this symposium and part of endorsees to the consensus statement meant "we will be stronger in our efforts to push for policies" in the preservation of our marine ecosystem. "Not only that. We also have to be mindful of the increasing awareness on climate change issues which is very relevant to our coastal communities," he said.
The international coral reef science community, through the statement, aims to reach out to world leaders to ensure the future of coral reefs, through global action in the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions and other greenhouse gases, and also via improved local coral reef protection.
Stephen Palumbi of the Department of Biology at the Stanford University in California said the consensus statement - highlighting human stressors such as overfishing, pollution and habitat destruction - was important in that it was focused on moving policies ahead globally.