The warm tropical waters of the Coral Triangle may host the richest diversity of marine life on this planet. More than 75% of all recorded coral species and at least 3,000 fish species and can be found here. A diverse mix of habitats including river estuaries, mangrove forests, seagrass beds and coral reefs sustain this rich marine biodiversity. Resources from this area support livelihoods and provide income and food security for more than 100 million local people, particularly in coastal communities.
The Coral Triangle, occupying approximately 6.8 million square kilometres (just over 1% of the Earth’s surface), includes the waters of six Southeast Asian countries: the eastern half of Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia (Sabah), Timor-Leste, Papua New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands.
Management to improve livelihoods
In May 2009, WWF and other partners supported the launch of the Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI). This saw commitments by the six governments to safeguard their marine resources and ensure income and food security for the millions of people who depend on them. And, in support of the CTI, the Coral Triangle Support Partnership (CTSP)
was created with the goal of improving the management of biologically and economically important coastal and marine resources, and the associated terrestrial ecosystems that support the people’s livelihoods.
The CTSP is a five-year, $40 million project executed through a cooperative agreement between the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), WWF and other partners. The CTSP works with governments, the private sector, and local partners to catalyze transformational change assisting governments by enabling policy support, building human capacity and strengthening institutions.
Supporting people and institutions
WorldFish is carrying out project activities as part of the third year of the Coral Triangle Support Partnership (CTSP). Its work involves community-based resource management (CBRM) and climate change vulnerability and adaptation (V&A) analysis in the Solomon Islands.
The first objective is to develop a national strategy and framework for CBRM using the Gella-Russell-Savo island group (GERUSA) in the Central Province of Solomon Islands as a model site. This work will involve designing a strategy for capacity building and institutional support at community, province and national levels, and developing appropriate training guides and materials. Then, using lessons from GERUSA a phased implementation in other priority provinces will begin, at each level.
WorldFish will undertake climate change vulnerability and adaptation assessments at the provincial and community level in GERUSA and other priority provinces, and will train WWF staff to undertake similar assessments in Gizo (Western Province). This will lead to the identification of appropriate adaptation strategies at the community and provincial levels. Some community level adaptation strategies may be implemented at the GARUSA site.
Steps will then be taken to incorporate these strategies into provincial government policy in both Central and Western Provinces.