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Coral Triangle

The Coral Triangle Initiative: Reefs, Fisheries and Food Security

The initiative is ensuring long-term success of conservation in the Coral Triangle.

The CTI has brought significant progress to protecting the reefs and fisheries that support the livelihoods and food security of nearly 400 million people in the region, and millions more living in other parts of the world.

The Coral Triangle Initiative started with a personal call for action on an urgent threat. The precious marine resources of the Coral Triangle region are being destroyed by climate change, overfishing, illegal fishing, unsustainable coastal development and pollution.

This grim challenge led Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to reach out to the key people and groups that could make a difference.

In 2009, the leaders of the six countries that make up the Coral Triangle – Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Timor-Leste – came together to launch the Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries, and Food Security (CTI-CFF), a joint commitment to ensure that the region’s unparalleled marine resources and coastal systems thrive well into the future.

The CTI has brought significant progress to protecting the reefs and fisheries that support the livelihoods and food security of nearly 400 million people in the region, and millions more living in other parts of the world.

Coral Triangle: Amazon of the Seas

There is broad scientific consensus that the Coral Triangle represents a global epicenter of marine life abundance and diversity.

While the area covers only 2 percent of the world’s oceans, it contains:

  • More than 75 percent of all known coral species;
  • More than 30 percent of the world’s coral reefs;
  • Nearly 40 percent of coral reef fish species; and
  • The greatest extent of mangrove forests anywhere in the world.

The Nature Conservancy, our partners and the Coral Triangle countries recognize that the threats to marine biodiversity and coral reef systems in this globally important region can not be conquered by one nation alone.

A Plan of Action

The six governments of the Coral Triangle agreed upon a Regional Plan of Action (RPoA) which laid out five goals. In addition, each country has developed its own National Plan of Action, to be implemented at a national scale and in alignment with the goals of the RPoA.

These goals are:

  • Priority Seascapes Designated and Effectively Managed
  • Ecosystem Approach to Management of Fisheries (EAFM) and Other Marine Resources Fully Applied
  • Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) Established and Effectively Managed
  • Climate Change Adaptation Measures Achieved
  • Threatened Species Status Improving

In 2014 the CTI Permanent Regional Secretariat, the institution that will oversee activities of the CTI over time, was formally ratified, showing the ongoing high-level political will for the Initiative. The news came on the heels of a study showing that the total area of legally protected reefs in the Coral Triangle has reached nearly 3,000 square miles, just shy of the CTI’s combined target for 2020.

The Conservancy’s next step will be to help the six countries improve management of these areas to ensure that they are truly protected for the long term.

 

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