(Asian Development Bank) Environment and fisheries ministers from six Asia Pacific countries have met to advance their collective agenda for protecting and managing the fragile Coral Triangle―one of the most diverse and threatened marine ecosystems in the world.
The Third Ministerial Meeting of the Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs Fisheries and Food Security endorsed a plan to establish a permanent secretariat for the initiative in Indonesia.
“The establishment of a permanent secretariat is an important step towards ensuring the success of the initiative and for implementing the regional plan of action,” said Jon D. Lindborg, ADB Country Director for Indonesia. “Improved management of coastal and marine resources in the Coral Triangle is critical for ensuring food security, employment, sustainable economic development and increased regional cooperation.”
Dubbed the ‘Amazon of the Seas’, the Coral Triangle covers a vast area of ocean, encompassing all or part of the six member countries of the initiative. It has 76% of all known coral species and its resources provide daily sustenance and employment for over 120 million people. However harmful fishing practices and climate change are threatening the future of this global epicenter of marine biodiversity.
The Coral Triangle Initiative was started in 2007 by Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Timor-Leste and the Solomon Islands. The Asian Development Bank (ADB), which is a strong supporter of the program, is holding discussions with the ministers and other partners on how to strengthen its impact and effectiveness.