I’ve just returned from the Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI) Summit in Manado, Indonesia.
The summit marked the culmination of two years of CI’s engagement in this novel initiative, and brought together the six heads of state from Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Timor Leste to sign a landmark agreement for coral reefs, fisheries and food security.
The CTI is the first regional agreement for marine ecosystem-based management, and showcases CI’s scientific expertise and commitment to partnering with others to achieve sweeping conservation goals. Through CTI, we are leveraging our work on the Sulu-Sulawesi and Bird’s Head Seascapes, MPAs, marine climate change, fisheries, food security and threatened species to influence regional and national policies of global significance.
I had conversations with the Presidents of Indonesia and Philippines and the Prime Ministers of Malaysia, PNG, and Solomon Islands, all of whom are committed to food security through biodiversity conservation, and to the CTI. These are promising signs that CTI will be able to make the transition from the multilateral agreement and planning stage to concrete results on the ground.
Partnerships established through CTI are wide ranging: The Nature Conservancy, World Wildlife Fund and CI demonstrated solidarity at the Summit by making one joint declaration in support of CTI. In side-meetings I met with the Asian Development Bank, the US Ambassador, representatives from the US State Department, and USAID, all of whom are excited about our focus on human well-being through biodiversity conservation.
These tremendous achievements were possible thanks to several outstanding CI teams coming together. I have lost count how many times during last week that people told me about how impressed they are with CI and our team.
In 30 years of conservation work, I have not seen anything like the CTI Summit. It has inspired me and once again convinced me that CI’s new strategy and our team will bring us a new level of success for people and nature.
See amazing images of the coral triangle and learn more about protecting coral and people: