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Coral Triangle Initiative

Bold Vision and Unprecedented Commitments

On Friday, May 15, 2009, at the Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI) Summit in Manado, Indonesia, heads of government of all six countries that lie in the Coral Triangle — Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, the Philippines, Timor Leste and Malaysia — resoundingly adopted a policy agreement that fundamentally transforms marine and coastal resource use and protection across the region.

Launched on the heels of the World Oceans Conference, the Nature Conservancy-supported Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI) includes a Regional Plan of Action that contains unprecedented MPA, fisheries and climate change targets. The plan also fundamentally aims at ensuring the livelihoods and food security for coastal communities and their future generations.

Commitments made by individual governments and partners at the CTI Summit include:

  • Indonesia launched the Savu Sea Marine National Park — the largest marine protected areas in the Coral Triangle — covering 8.649 million acres and reaching their target of over 33 million acres, exceeding the goal of 24.7 million acres (10 million hectares). They set a new goal of almost 50 million acres and to effectively manage all existing MPAs.
  • Indonesia and the Philippines each have committed $5 million in financial aid towards regional action. Papua New Guinea committed $2 million and Malaysia committed $1 million.
  • Australia committed to more than $2 million in immediate funding for critical projects in the Coral Triangle — the first phase in an ongoing plan to support the CTI.
  • The United States announced $1.6 million for capacity building through an MOU between NOAA and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), with funds provided by USAID.
  • And seven new partners committed to support the Coral Triangle Initiative, including France, Association of Southeast Asian Nations, IUCN, United Nations Environment Programme, United Nations Development Programme.

These announcements are in addition to the over $100 million in multi-year grants from donor agencies given in recent months that directly support implementation of the Coral Triangle Initiative, including $63 million from the Global Environment Facility (GEF), $2 million from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), $2 million from the German Environment Ministry and $42 million from the U.S. government, with over $40 million from the USAID. An additional $300 million of grant and loan projects also support aspects of the Coral Triangle Initiative and are part of the co-financing package for the GEF Grant.

To successfully achieve sustainable management of marine and coastal resources for current and future generations, leaders of the six governments of the Coral Triangle countries will collectively and individually commit to five over-arching goals and a set of ten targets:

Goal #1: Priority Seascapes (large marine areas) designated and effectively managed

  • By 2012: “Priority Seascapes” designated, with investment plans completed and sequenced
  • By 2020: Marine and coastal resources within all “Priority Seascapes” are being sustainably managed

Goal #2: Ecosystem approach to management of fisheries (EAFM) and other marine resources fully applied

  • By 2012: Strong legislative, policy and regulatory frameworks in place for achieving an ecosystem approach to fisheries management
  • By 2020: Improved income, livelihoods and food security in an increasingly significant number of coastal communities across the region through a new Sustainable Coastal Fisheries and Poverty Reduction Initiative
  • By 2020: Effective measures in place to help ensure exploitation of shared tuna stocks is sustainable, with tuna spawning areas and juvenile growth stages adequately protected
  • By 2020: A more effective management and more sustainable trade in live-reef fish and reef-based ornamentals achieved

Goal #3: Marine protected areas (MPAs) established and effectively managed

  • By 2020: Region-wide Coral Triangle MPA System (CTMPAS) in place and fully functional

Goal #4: Climate change adaptation measures achieved

  • By 2015: Region-wide Early Action Plan for Climate Change Adaption for the near-shore marine and coastal environment and small islands ecosystems developed and implemented
  • By 2013: Networked National Centers of Excellence on Climate Change Adaptation for marine and coastal environments are established and in full operation

Goal #5: Threatened species status improving

  • By 2020: Improved status of sharks, sea turtles, seabirds, marine mammals corals, seagrass, mangroves and other identified threatened species

The Conservancy will continue to work to advance this incredible platform for conservation that these governments have launched.

“We are inspired by the bold vision of the CTI and the significant commitments that the six leaders made today. Our continued engagement, building on nearly two decades of conservation in this region, with governments, regional institutions and local communities we hope will contribute to this extraordinary initiative for the benefit of nature and people living in this region and beyond. ” Roger Milliken Jr., TNC’s Chairman of the Board of Directors. 

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