On coral reefs, fisheries and food security
by fahry from corals
Scientists have identified an area called the Coral Triangle within the
Indo-Pacific – its boundaries defined by marine zones containing 500 or more
species of reef-building coral. This region covers all or part of six countries:
Indonesia (Central and Eastern), Malaysia (Sabah), Papua New Guinea, Philippines,
Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste. Certain neighboring countries – including
Australia, Fiji, New Caledonia and Vanuatu – contain rich coral biodiversity, but with somewhat lower numbers.
To maintain the health and productivity of the Coral Triangle, it is important to think of the region as a large-scale system. This way we can more easily understand and protect the core ecological processes that drive its productivity and sustain the
social and economic benefits for the people dependent on its resources. There is
a growing recognition of the need to share in the responsibility of sustaining these
resources for future generations. Examples of leadership and cooperation among the
Coral Triangle countries include
• In 2004, Indonesia, Philippines, and Malaysia signed an MOU to jointly manage
fisheries, sea turtles and marine protected areas.
• In 2006, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and Solomon Islands signed an MOU to coordinate management of shared marine resources and sea turtles.
• In 2006, Philippines President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed an Executive Order
on a National Policy on Biological Diversity to be implemented throughout the country, particularly in the Sulu Sulawesi Seascape and Verde Passage.
• The Indonesian government announced their intention to double the extent of
marine protected areas by 2010, and establish 20 million hectares of marine
protected areas by 2020. In the past year alone, Indonesia has added over 2
million hectares into conservation areas.
• Communities in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and Solomon Islands have taken
the initiative with local government to establish networks of locally managed marine
areas, sharing lessons in a network across the Coral Triangle region.
The Center of Marine Biodiversity
• Over 600 species of coral and over 3,000 species of fish
• 53% of the world’s coral reefs
• Greatest extent of mangrove forest of any region in the world
• Waters contain spawning and juvenile growth areas for the largest tuna fishery
in the world
A Home to 150 Million People
• Marine resources directly support livelihoods and food security for over 120 million people
• Healthy coral reefs contribute to a growing tourism industry valued at over
US$12.5 billion annually
• Mangroves and healthy coral reefs protect coastal communities from storms and tsunamis, at an estimated value of between $250,000 and $15 million per kilometer of coastline
• Capture fisheries contribute up to 12% of GDP and are a key source of foreign
exchange and employment
Building Multilateral Partnerships
Building on previous collaborative efforts, President Yudhoyono of Indonesia proposed a new multilateral partnership: a Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI) on Coral Reefs, Fisheries, and Food Security. Such an initiative could be centered around high-level, joint political commitments by the six governments of the region, and collaboration with other nations and stakeholders on such issues as fisheries, tourism, private sector engagement, and financial investments. At the recent Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Sydney, Australia, 21 world leaders endorsed the Coral Triangle Initiative in their APEC Leaders’ Declaration on Climate Change, Energy Security and Clean Development. A first formal governmental planning meeting to advance the CTI will be held in Bali in December.
Key strategies under a Coral Triangle Initiative – Approaches and Tools
Regional mechanisms – Working across sectors with relevant stakeholders to establish and strengthen regional mechanisms needed to address threats to marine biological resources.
Legal framework and governance – Creating the legal framework through existing and new laws at regional, national and local levels.
Private sector collaboration – Building effective partnerships across industry, government and civil society to galvanize private sector action and funding support for effective marine resource management. Addressing all steps in the market chain for sustainability on the supply and demand sides.
Building Capacity – Building the capacity for effective marine resource management and conservation and increasing civil society participation in management decision making.
Ecosystem-Based management of the oceans – Adopting and enforcing sustainable fisheries policies that will maintain critical ecosystem processes, placing sustainable human resource use and stakeholder participation at the center of fisheries management.
Representative networks of marine protected areas (MPAs) – Building effectively managed networks of large-scale MPAs and community-managed areas in places that provide increased potential for resilience and resistance to future climate change impacts and that capture the range of marine and coastal habitats. The MPA establishment and management process will increase civil society participation in decision making, ensuring adequate and sustainable flows of funding for MPAs and broader marine resources management, and for empowering local communities and reducing resource conflict.
Increasing populations of threatened and endangered species – Mitigating threats to highly endangered species and focusing protection strategies on key phases of their life history.
Adaptive management strategies for climate change – Understanding impacts of global warming and integrating adaptation strategies into management and development plans for reduced vulnerability.
Contacts for organizations supporting the governments and regional partners
in the Coral Triangle Initiative:
Kate N ewman
Coral Triangle Initiative
World Wildlife Fund - US
1250 24th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20037-1193
Head of Program, Coral Triangle Initiative
World Wildlife Fund - Indonesia
Jalan Petitenget 22
Kerobokan, Bali 80361
Senior A dvisor, Finance and Policy
Asia-Pacific R egion
The Nature Conservancy
4245 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 100
Arlington, VA 22203
Senior Policy Coordinator, Coral Triangle
The Nature Conservancy
Coral Triangle Center
Jl. Pengembak No. 2 / Sanur, Bali 80228
Marine Policy Manager
International Policy and Science
2011 Crystal Drive, Suite 500
Arlington, VA 22202
Executive Director, Philippines
6 Maalalahanin St., Teachers Village
Quezon City, 1101 Philippines
Phone 632-412-8194; 926-8461; 924-8235
Effective conservation and marine resource management is achieved through
collaboration among a range of partners – from governments to local communities,
and from NGOs to businesses. By building lasting partnerships among the Coral
Triangle nations and stakeholders inside and outside the region, conservation and
management of the Coral Triangle’s outstanding marine resources can be assured
for future generations.
A partial list of governments and key stakeholders for the Coral Triangle
Initiative includes The governments of:
Papua New Guinea
Asian Development Bank
Global Environment Facility
The Nature Conservancy
Sources from : The Coral Triangle Initiative
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