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EditPhoto Title:The Coral Triangle Initiative
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EditImage Description:Local fishermen launch their boat at Valu Beach in Nino Konis Santana National Park. © World Wildlife Fund, Inc. / Matthew Abbott
EditPhoto Credit:© World Wildlife Fund, Inc. / Matthew Abbott
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The Coral Triangle contains the most marine species on earth and supports the livelihoods of nearly 400 million people.

Spanning 6 million square kilometers (2.3 million square miles) of the archipelagic waters of Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, the Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste the Coral Triangle has the highest coral and reef fish diversity globally and provides vital spawning grounds for whales, turtles and other charismatic species. And one third of the people depend on these waters for their livelihoods.

These abundant and valuable marine and coastal resources are under threat from unsustainable fishing, rapid population growth and the effects of climate change. The Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI) is an agreement forged between the countries of the Coral Triangle to work together to combat these threats and sustain this extraordinary environment and all it provides to human well-being.


Our role

As a founding partner of the CTI since its inception in 2007, Conservation International (CI) works with governments, communities and other stakeholders to help them achieve sustainable change.

Following the first guiding principle of the CTI — "Support people-centered biodiversity conservation, sustainable development, poverty reduction and equitable benefit sharing" — our focus is on empowering people to sustainably manage marine ecosystems so they can support their well-being, now and into the future. Our guidance has been requested by partners, communities and governments, allowing us to work across sectors and at all levels. By connecting the efforts in-country to the wider region, we are ensuring that successes are amplified, creating momentum from the ground-up for changes that last.


Our plan

At the regional level, we are strengthening coordination and knowledge sharing among CTI governments, representatives and managers, aiming to help the region fully progress toward the widespread implementation of Seascapes: large-scale, ecosystem-based approach to marine resource management, with a strong focus on climate change adaptation. CI also facilitates a regional exchange and collaboration, and works to integrate successes and lessons learned into management guidelines that can be adapted and shared throughout the region.

​At the local level, we are building the capacity of local communities, governments and stakeholders to sustainably manage their own marine and coastal resources. Community-based projects in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Solomon Islands, and Timor-Leste help individual people and communities to provide for themselves through the sustained wealth of their natural resources. CI also has a particular focus on Seascapes policy and implementation, marine protected area management, promoting sustainable livelihoods, developing management plans and creating practices that are low cost, feasible within the biological, social and political context of the each geography, and will prepare communities for the impacts of climate change.



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EditImage Alt Text:Anambas, Indonesia. © Conservation International/photo by Panji Laksmana
EditTitle:By the numbers
EditSubtitle:10,600 people trained
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Through the collaborative support of the Australian Government, USAID, and others, thousands of people throughout the Coral Triangle have been trained in natural resource management and biodiversity conservation. CI worked with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to develop these trainings.

EditPhoto Credit:© Conservation International/photo by Panji Laksmana
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    EditQuote Text (Do not add quotation marks):The fisheries are my only income… If everyone looks after the resources and fisheries properly, in 10 years’ time there will still be enough fish for me to send my kids to university.
    EditQuote Attribution:Leonardo DaCosta, fisherman from the Com community, Timor-Leste
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      EditSection Title:Building a regional seascapes policy
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      EditImage Description:Yellow fish and coral reef in the ocean in Birds Head Seascape, Raja Ampat, Papua, Indonesia,
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      The Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI) Team at CI is collaborating with the countries of the Coral Triangle to create a CTI Seascapes policy and implementation model. This aims to advance large-scale marine management in this region based on CI’s Seascapes Approach.

      This single policy will be adapted to the incredibly diverse Coral Triangle region, which consists of millions of square kilometers of tropical islands, coral reefs, and mangroves and is home to six countries and thousands of cultures and languages. This represents the first time that Seascapes will be adopted and pursued through a formal multi-country agreement.

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      EditPhoto Credit:© Conservation International/photo by Sterling Zumbrunn
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      EditSection Title:New approaches to community-based resource management
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      EditImage Description:Three men walking on a bridge in Papua New Guinea
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      The Coral Triangle Initiative Team at CI is working with local partners to develop and pilot low-cost methods to spread the reach of community-based resource management to the most remote coastal villages of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.

      These innovative approaches are equipping community mentors and government officers with easy-to-use management guidance that empowers communities to take resource conservation actions themselves. Youth programs that teach coral reef monitoring and ecology are inspiring a new generation of ocean stewards who actively spread environmental awareness from community-to-community.

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        EditSection Title:Bringing women into the discussion
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        EditImage Description: Local residents in the Bunduki Gap region of Morogoro in Tanzania.
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        Working closely with local partners, CI’s Coral Triangle Initiative team are promoting widespread understanding of the vital role that women play in marine resource use and management. Through survey interviews and in-depth discussions, we are gathering the input of local women and learning from the experience of partner organizations to determine how to better integrate women into resource management. In the Coral Triangle, women are often left out of discussion and decisions on how their resources are managed. CI is working with partners to enhance the voices of women in the projects and decisions that impact their communities.

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        EditPhoto Credit:© Conservation International/photo by Daniel Rothberg
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        Island Spotlights

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        EditHeader:Timor-Leste
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          EditSection Title:Igniting national support for resource management
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            EditImage Description: Fisherman at sunset in Timor-Leste. © World Wildlife Fund, Inc. / Tory Read
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            Through hard work and perseverance, CI has built a unique, powerful and self-sustaining model for protecting marine and coastal resources in Timor-Leste, earning government approval for long-term funding of community-based management in the Nino Konis Santana National Park and setting a precedent for the rest of the country.

            CI’s work in Timor-Leste has been pivotal in strengthening the relationships between the state government and civil society. These links have enabled the sustainability of collaborative marine and coastal resource management in the Nino Konis Santana National Park. In 2012 and 2013, CI led the design and trial of a collaborative management model with the National Directorate for Fisheries and Aquaculture, community leaders and fishermen in three coastal communities of the park. CI involved the government at all stages of the project by showcasing successes and running workshops with government and community members to break down communication barriers and highlight ways of moving forward toward a more sustainable model of resource management.

            In January 2014, the government of Timor-Leste approved the allocation of ongoing funds in the fisheries sector budget to bring this community-based management model to life and support the government’s plan to advance the co-management of fisheries nationwide. This unique approach to community management has enabled the Timorese government to be involved in the development, design and execution of the management model and provide the funding to make the model self-sustaining.

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            EditSection Title:A Nation of Opportunity
            EditSection Description:As a new nation, Timor-Leste is in a position to set a precedent for sustainable resource management, ensuring the protection of its exceptional marine environment for the current generation and generations to come. The Timorese people have already made huge leaps in protecting their important marine and coastal resources through the creation of Nino Konis Santana National Park in 2007 and the establishment of community-based monitoring programs and essential no-take zones within the park’s boundaries.
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            EditVideo Title:Timor-Leste – A New Nation, Full of Opportunity[Optional]
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              EditVideo Title:A Scientific Expedition to Timor-Leste – Rapid Assessment Program[Optional]
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                EditHeader:Papua New Guinea
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                  EditSection Title:Communities teaching communities
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                    EditImage URL: /sitecollectionimages/ci_18235130.jpg
                    EditImage Description: Deep sea monitoring in Milne Bay, Papua New Guinea. © Conservation International/photo by Noel Wangunu
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                    In Papua New Guinea’s Milne Bay, the Nuakata Iabam-Pahilele Community Managed Marine Area (NIPCMMA) is more than a band of concerned citizens — a local government law passed in November 2011 grants the community legal authority to perform their own biological monitoring, management, fundraising and reporting.

                    Community members from Nuakata and Iabam-Pahilele worked with CI to develop NIPCMMA, and now these communities are helping to do the same for nearby Wiyaloki, Netuli and Panabala, as exchanges have brought community members together to share their hands-on experience and advance their monitoring and management techniques. During past exchanges, several Wiyaloki community members were young people, which brought a new dynamic to the trainings. Seeing themselves as trainers and leaders for future generations gave added meaning to the important work, according to the participants. Community concern and responsibility for the area means that motivation to keep the marine area active is high. These trainings, facilitated by Nuakata for Wiyaloki, Netuli and Panabala, are the first examples of communities teaching communities in Milne Bay. With interest increasing from other island groups throughout the province, the opportunities for communities to serve as teachers and ambassadors to their peers for effective community-based management will continue to grow.

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                    More of Our Work Links

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                    EditTitle:Indonesia
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                    EditImage Alt Text:View of a man in a boat and underwater coral reef in Bird's Head, Raja Ampat, Indonesia. © Conservation International/photo by Sterling Zumbrunn

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                    EditTitle:Food: Agriculture and Fisheries
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                    EditImage Alt Text:Woman harvests eggplant. © Benjamin Drummond

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                    EditTitle:The Ocean
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                    EditImage Alt Text:Coral reef in Viti Levu, Fiji, Oceania. © William Crosse