Thousands of miles of vibrant coral reefs encircle the islands of Southeast Asia — the Coral Triangle.
The Coral Triangle is one of the planet’s great marvels — a place of remarkable richness, bursting with color and life.
But overfishing, blast fishing, pollution and climate change are destroying the reefs — threatening the wild species and millions of people that depend upon them.
With a colossal goal of protecting 15 percent of the marine habitat of the Coral Triangle over the next decade — up from the only 2.6 percent currently protected — The Nature Conservancy has to think big.
From rigorous research to governmental alliances, the Conservancy is engaging on many fronts throughout the region to protect these irreplaceable reefs. Our scientists are pioneering strategies to boost the ability of coral reefs to survive the impacts of climate change.
And we have innovative, multi-partner projects on the ground and in the water in three Coral Triangle nations — Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.
Our priority sites include:
Conservancy experts believe that the best way to help the reefs survive is to set aside large underwater tracts or “seascapes” as official Marine Protected Areas (MPA), link them into a region-wide network and equip local partners to manage them.
The MPAs aren’t just good for nature; they’re good for people, too. These restricted zones give fish populations room to regenerate and replenish surrounding waters, providing fish for island families and for export, and attracting ecotourism income.
Successful MPAs involve several components:
The Nature Conservancy is accelerating its efforts in the Coral Triangle. Our goal over the next three years: equip and encourage decision-makers to set aside 12 more preserves, protecting 12.4 million acres of the most biodiverse and resilient marine habitat to function as refuges that seed the recovery of more sensitive areas nearby.
Because effective conservation requires ongoing management, we are developing a $10 million Coral Triangle Trust Fund that is expected to attract $50 million in public and matching funding for Marine Protected Area development and management.
Our scientists will continue building our knowledge of this remarkable area and sharing that knowledge with decision-makers, from prime ministers to local fishermen.
And every day, our experts will be in the water and on the ground, working right alongside local people, finding ways to protect this remarkable place — for the benefit of their children and the world.