U.S. pays $2 mln to Philippines for damaging coral reef

Damage caused by U.S. Navy minesweeper

(ANSA) - Manila, February 18 - The Philippine government on Wednesday announced it has 1.97 million dollars in compensation from the United States for damage a US Navy minesweeper caused to a coral reef two years ago.
    The foreign ministry said in a statement that Manila was paid last month for the damage caused by the USS Guardian when it rammed into the Tobbataha Reef Marine Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
    The money will be used for the environmental rehabilitation of the area and to improve monitoring activities in order to prevent similar incidents from happening again, the government said.
    The minesweeper in January 2013 remained stuck for two months in the reef, damaging over 2,000 square meters of protected reefs in the Sulu Sea, one of the most important marine sanctuaries worldwide.
   

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