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We Must Go Down to the Sea Again

Balinese Gather on West Bali's Shoreline to Pray for Cleaner Oceans and Healthier Coral Reefs.

(6/11/2007) Bali found its own unique way of joining the rest of mankind in celebrating World Environment Day 2007 on June 5th. Tempo Interaktif reports that the residents of West Bali gathered on the beaches near Menjangan Island to participate in a ritualized cleaning of the sea. The devotees, members of the Communication Forum for People Concerned with Coastal Areas (FKMPP), gathered to pray at the shore and toss floral offerings into the surf.

"This was a spiritual complement to efforts to clean our shores and coral reefs, especially from the threat posed by Crown of Thorn Starfish (Acanthaster plancii)," explained the Chairman of FKMPP, Misnawiyanto.

According to members of the Forum, Bali's protective reefs are being damaged by coral bleaching and the over-population of Crown of Thorn Starfish. The FKMPP blames the rapid rise in the destructive Crown of Thorn Starfish population on climate change which has created conditions favorable to the species' proliferation.

The ceremony in West Bali on June 5th was a joint effort of the FKMPP, the West Bali National Park and area dive operators.

World Environment Day

Celebrated every June 5th, World Environment Day is a major vehicle used by the United Nations to raise awareness on environmental issues and galvanize political attention.

The theme for 2007 World Environment Day adopted by the United Nations was "Melting Ice a Hot Topic?"