About the Authors: Phillip Loosli serves as Environment, Science, Technology and Health Officer at U.S. Embassy Kuala Lumpur and Kelly Milton serves in the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs.
Senior officials from the six nations of the Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI) on Coral Reefs, Fisheries and Food Security adopted the Coral Triangle Initiative regional governance structure at the fourth Senior Officials Meeting held October 20-22 in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia. Senior officials confirmed how the six CTI countries will collectively conserve and manage the world’s epicenter of marine biodiversity as well as established guidelines for establishing a permanent secretariat. Officials also agreed to issue a joint CTI statement to highlight ocean and coastal concerns to be delivered at the United Nations Framework on Climate Change Convention (UNFCCC) this December in Copenhagen. These major outcomes and further discussion regarding the location of the permanent secretariat will be presented for endorsement at the Second Ministerial Meeting to occur in Ghizo, the Solomon Islands, from November 18-19, 2009.
The Coral Triangle Initiative constitutes a collaboration of six nations that inhabit the world’s largest concentration of coral reefs and marine biodiversity, which includes the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, and Papua New Guinea. This 5.7 million square km. area of ocean and islands supports the livelihood for 120 million people and food for many more. The area is threatened by over- and destructive fishing, land- and sea-based pollution, and climate change. Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono initiated the Coral Triangle Initiative on the sidelines of the December 2007 Bali UNFCCC climate change talks. The Heads of State from the six Coral Triangle countries formally endorsed the implementation of the CTI Regional Plan of Action at the 2009 CTI Summit in Manado, Indonesia, this past May.