Coral Triangle - The Amazon of the Seas - is at Risk

Coral Triangle

  • 76% of all known coral species
  • 37% of all known coral reef fish species
  • 53% of the world’s coral reef
  • About 3,000 species of reef fish
  • Greatest extent of mangrove forests in the world
  • Support the livelihoods of more than 120 million people


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The Coral Triangle covers 5.7 million square kilometers of ocean waters in Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea (PNG), Philippines, Solomon Islands, and Timor-Leste.  The area is considered as the global center of tropical marine diversity, supporting the highest number of species of coral reef fishes, and turtles. The mangrove forests, coral reefs, and coastal and offshore waters are the most species-rich in the tropics.

These resources are at immediate risk from a range of factors, including the impacts of climate change, over-fishing, unsustainable fishing methods, and land-based sources of pollution.

In 2007, this threatened marine ecosystems brought all six countries together to launch the Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries, and Food Security (CTI). Since then all six countries have taken important steps toward addressing threats to the Coral Triangle through the collaborative development of a regional plan of action.

ADB’s role

ADB has been playing a key role in helping to promote the Initiative and serving as the lead agency to mobilize financial resources. ADB is also implementing several projects under the CTI’s program.

ADB has recently approved a project, Coastal and Marine Resources Management, to enhance environmental governance and management capacity among stakeholders in Coral Triangle Initiative.  The project, which is targeted at Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines, will strengthen management of marine resources by funding activities that build up the capacity of oversight institutions. It will also help to develop alternative livelihoods for fishing and coastal communities to help reduce activities that harm the environment.

"The project aims to strengthen national and local institutions for sustainable coastal and marine ecosystem management and to establish support mechanisms for sustainable livelihoods in coastal communities," said Kunio Senga, Director General of ADB's South East Asia Department.

This project complements ongoing projects worth $15.05 million to assist Papua New Guinea (PNG), Solomon Islands and Timor Leste in fulfilling their Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI) objectives, as well as engage Fiji and Vanuatu in these efforts. 

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