MANADO, INDONESIA - ADB has welcomed the decision by six Asia and Pacific nations to endorse a Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI) agreement that lays out a plan of action to ensure the sustainability of their shared coastal and marine resources.
The Coral Reefs, Fisheries, and Food Security Plan of Action was signed today by heads of state from the six countries - Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste - at the inaugural CTI Leaders Summit in Manado, Indonesia.
The ADB has played a key role in helping promote the CTI, serving as the lead Global Environment Facility (GEF) agency to mobilize financial resources for its program of action and providing a range of technical and other assistance.
Often referred to as "the Amazon of the Seas," the Coral Triangle contains vast marine resources critical for the economic and food security of an estimated 120 million people. These resources are at immediate risk from a range of factors, including the impacts of climate change, over fishing, and unsustainable fishing methods.
The plan of action commits the Coral Triangle countries to a range of measures that include strengthening networks of marine protected areas, protecting threatened marine species, and taking steps to build greater resilience to the adverse impacts of climate change.
Attending the Leaders Summit, ADB Vice-President Lawrence Greenwood said the US$300 million in resources pledged to the CTI by GEF, the ADB, the United States, Australia and other development partners should be viewed as part of a "green stimulus package" for the region that can help countries re-direct their economic development to climate friendly paths.
"By investing in better management of coastal and marine resources, it is not only the world's greatest treasure of marine organisms that will be protected, but jobs, livelihoods and food security," said Mr. Greenwood.
He added that the CTI summit in Manado "would accelerate momentum and commitment for sustainable coastal and marine resource management in the region."
ADB has supported the CTI by helping to mobilize financial resources from the international community to support country and regional actions. ADB will also implement parallel programs of technical assistance in the Southeast Asian and Pacific reaches of the Coral Triangle to support improved marine protected areas management and climate change adaptation.