The world’s epicenter for sea life, the 1.6 billion acre Coral Triangle region got a big boost from the leaders of six heads of state. On May 15, 2009, leaders from Indonesia, the Philippines, Timor Leste, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Malaysia gathered in Manado, Indonesia to officially launch the Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries, and Food Security (CTI-CFF).
The Coral Triangle is home to more than 500 species of reef-building corals and more than 3,000 species of fish. Millions of coastal inhabitants in the Coral Triangle depend mostly on the health of its diverse marine ecosystems for their livelihoods.
As part of the historic initiative, the six countries pledged “accelerated and collaborative action” in protecting the Coral Triangle’s marine, coastal, and small island ecosystems. They have adopted the CTI Regional Plan of Action, which includes priority actions for seascapes, fisheries management, marine protected areas, climate change adaptation, and threatened species throughout the region.
Dr. Caleb McClennen, director of WCS-Marine Programs, spoke at the CTI Summit. “On this historic day, I would like to offer the full congratulations of the Wildlife Conservation Society to the governments and fellow partners of the Coral Triangle Initiative,” he said. “WCS looks forward to continuing its commitment of providing strong science, capacity building, and innovative marine conservation solutions to this initiative, with particular focus on our established programs in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and regionally in Fiji.”
WCS assists in the conservation of nearly 90 percent of all tropical coral reef species across priority seascapes in the Coral Triangle, Western Indian Ocean, and the Caribbean Sea. We work with fisherman, communities, governments, and other partners to save wildlife and wild places throughout the world’s oceans.