There is broad scientific consensus that the Coral Triangle represents a global epicentre of marine biodiversity.
Immediately to Australia's North and spanning just 1.6 per cent of the planet's oceans, the Coral Triangle region holds 76 per cent of all known coral species, 37 per cent of all known coral reef fish species, 53 per cent of the world's coral reefs, the greatest extent of mangrove forests in the world, and spawning and juvenile growth areas for tuna and other globally-significant commercial fish species.1
The countries of the Coral Triangle region recognise that their marine and coastal resources are a cornerstone of their economies and societies, and that these resources are under increasing threat. Increasing pressures include unsustainable fishing practices, land-based sources of marine pollution, coastal habitat conversion and climate change.
About the CTI
Recognising the need to safeguard the region's marine and coastal biological resources, the Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries and Food Security (CTI) was formed in 2007.
The CTI is a multilateral partnership between the Governments of Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Solomon Islands and Timor Leste.
Through the CTI, the Coral Triangle countries have agreed to support people-centred biodiversity conservation, sustainable development, poverty reduction and equitable benefit sharing.
There is a Regional Secretariat for the CTI based in Manado, Indonesia.
The CTI Regional Plan of Action sets goals, targets and actions at the regional level, which either require or would benefit from collaborative action amongst the Coral Triangle countries.
The five goals in the Regional Plan of Action 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.
At the national level, each Coral Triangle country has developed a National Plan of Action (NPOA), which specifies domestic priorities and actions for the CTI.
For copies of the NPOAs, please visit the Coral Triangle Initiative website: coraltriangleinitiative.org.
Australian Government's role in the CTI
When the CTI was established, a group of stakeholders - including the Australian Government - were invited to become Partners to the CTI and to provide funding as well as technical and strategic support. Australia is well-positioned to provide technical and strategic expertise. Our marine environment connects to the Coral Triangle, we have the largest marine estate of any Coral Triangle nation, and world renowned expertise in marine planning and management.
The other seven Partners are: the Asian Development Bank, Conservation International, the Coral Triangle Center, the Global Environment Facility, The Nature Conservancy, the United States Government, and the World Wide Fund for Nature.
The Australian Government Support Program for the CTI
The Australian Government investment in the CTI is premised on the value-add that regional cooperation can bring to our near neighbours’ management of coastal and marine resources for economic growth, livelihoods and food security and the value that improved management of connected marine ecosystems represents for Australia’s ocean domain and living resources. Australia also uses this regional platform to promote and underscore key Australian Government commitments to international and national agendas, including climate change adaptation, the blue economy and the Sustainable Development Goals.
The Australian Government has committed to a phased multi-year program of support to the CTI which has evolved and responded as the Initiative has grown. The first stage of support focused on building foundations and momentum for the CTI. The second stage of support focused on supporting the Seascapes goal of the Regional Plan of Action, assisting in the establishment of a Regional Secretariat and building the capacity of individuals and communities to develop and grow sustainable industries and livelihoods. The third current stage of support was announced in November 2014 (Media release). To date the Australian Government has committed $13.2 million in Australian Aid.
It includes regional scale investment (such as in the Seascapes goal) as well as investment to support the national plans of action of Papua New Guinea, Timor Leste and the Solomon Islands. Projects are supporting:
- the development of nature based tourism across the Coral Triangle region
- collaboration for multi-use, integrated planning of large marine areas across the Coral Triangle region (under the Seascapes goal)
- tools and information to assist in marine planning and sustainable use of marine resources in Papua New Guinea
- coastal communities to become effective stewards of their marine environment
Principles for Australian Government CTI support
In planning and providing support, the Australian Government has, and will, apply the following principles:
- Support will target people-centred biodiversity conservation, sustainable development, poverty reduction and equitable benefit sharing.
- Support will match the pace of the CTI Member Countries and allow sufficient time and opportunity to ensure meaningful engagement. Support will recognise capacity constraints.
- Support will recognise the stage of the development of the CTI as a regional forum. Priority will be given to activities that will underpin the long term strength and success of the CTI.
- Support will respect and encourage the role of national governments, and be based on detailed, country-led planning, national government priorities, and consultation with the national governments.
- Support will respect and support the role of the CTI Regional Secretariat, Senior Officials meetings, and Council of Ministers in directing and coordinating achievement of CTI goals.
- Support will build on, leverage and coordinate with other complementary programs and activities of the Australian Government and initiatives in the region, and will capitalise on Australia's areas of expertise and engagement.
- Support will be aligned with relevant Australian aid program Country Strategies and Partnerships for Development, or regional strategies and commitments (such as the Pacific Plan and Cairns Compact). Official Development Assistance-funded activities under this Support Plan will be subject to Australian aid program processes and requirements directed at ensuring effectiveness.
- Support will be communicated actively and openly in the interests of improved donor coordination.
Previous support activities
The details of the Australian Government's support for the CTI are outlined in the following documents:
- Australia’s support for the Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries and Food Security – a snapshot (PDF - 2.48 MB)
- Australian Government Coral Triangle Initiative Support Activities (PDF - 380.2 KB) | (DOC - 442 KB)
Australia has also supported the development of a National Marine Conservation Assessment for Papua New Guinea.
A range of Australian stakeholders have an interest, or are involved, in activities that support and compliment the CTI. These include research and educational institutions, universities, non-government organisations, community organisations, state/territory governments and local governments. The experience, knowledge and expertise of these stakeholders are valuable, and the Australian Government will seek to engage with these stakeholders in planning and implementing support for the CTI.
To contact the Department in regards to the CTI, please email: CTIAUSFocalPoint@environment.gov.au
- CTI Regional Secretariat
- The Asian Development Bank
- Conservation International
- The Coral Triangle Center
- The Global Environment Facility
- The Nature Conservancy
- US Support to the CTI
- World Wildlife Fund
1 Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries and Food Security (CTI) Regional Plan of Action (RPOA), 1