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CT ATLAS: Maps That Tell The Coral Triangle Story

If every map could tell a story, the CT Atlas (http://ctatlas.reefbase.org) would be a veritable Arabian Nights collection of 1001 different stories and more, each story painting a unique picture of the ecologically and culturally diverse Coral Triangle region. One common thread runs through these stories, however, and it begins with the Atlas’s own back story to weave a single, unified narrative that urges and inspires cooperation.
 

Crisis sentinel indicators: Averting a potential meltdown in the Coral Triangle

The Coral Triangle (CT) includes some or all of the land and seas of six countries: Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, the Solomon Islands, and Timor-Leste (CT6). It covers only 1.1% of the world's area, but is the global hotspot for marine biodiversity and a rich spawning area for tuna. One-third of the CT6 population and millions more from outside the region are dependent on these resources. However, a range of human pressures threaten the biological health and diversity in the CT, affecting the food security and livelihoods of these people. A set of Crisis Sentinel Indicators (CSI) has been proposed to discuss the current state of affairs of the Coral Triangle based on the three dimensions of sustainability: Ecological, Socioeconomic, and Governance indicators. Furthermore, a Pressure-State-Response (PSR) analysis was performed for each CT6 country, using the three dimensions of sustainability, to capture and discuss the local state of affairs.
 

Mapping the Bounty of the Coral Triangle

The warm tropical waters of the Coral Triangle in the South Pacific cover a little over 1% of the Earth’s surface, yet are host to over three quarters of all recorded coral species and thousands of fish species. The staggering biological diversity of marine life is sustained by an equally diverse mix of habitats including river estuaries, mangrove forests, seagrass beds and coral reefs. The 6.8 million square kilometers of the Coral Triangle cover the waters around the eastern half of Indonesia, as well as the Philippines, Malaysia, Timor-Leste, Papua New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands.

Sustainable Development in the Coral Triangle

If marine biodiversity is what you are after, then look no further than the Coral Triangle. This remarkable patch of water spans the seas between the six Indo-Pacific nations of Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Timor-Leste, Papua New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands. The tropical waters of the Coral Triangle are among the most biologically diverse – and environmentally vulnerable – regions of the world. The Coral Triangle’s coral reefs, mangrove forests, and seagrass beds are home to vast numbers of fish, sharks and rays, as well as sea turtles and marine mammals.

Coral Triangle Maps of the Month: Indonesia

Indonesia is the largest archipelago in the world. It straddles the Pacific and Indian Oceans as well as the Asian and Australian continents. It consists of approximately 17,000 islands and has three times more surface covered by sea than land - with 5.8 million square kilometers of sea and 1.9 million square kilometers of terrestrial territories.

Marine Protected Areas in the Coral Traingle - Coral Triangle Maps of the Month

The Coral Triangle Maps of the Month is a bi-weekly email that showcases various maps that highlight the diversity and uniqueness of the Coral Triangle region. The maps also show some of the pressing issues that are threatening this very important resource considered the epicenter of the world's marine biodiversity. The maps are generated by the Coral Triangle Atlas team at WorldFish.

Assessing the economic value of coral reefs to Solomon Island communities

Coastal communities in Solomon Islands, like many island countries, rely heavily on their coral reef resources for subsistence and income generation. These reefs, similar to others throughout the world are under pressure from human induced impacts and over harvesting. In Solomon Islands, a growing demand for coral for the international aquarium and curio trade, as well as a local demand for betel nut lime (made from live coral) further intensifies stress on the reefs. The collection of coral for these activities can result in the removal of specific coral types, and localised destruction of the reef habitat. This in turn can have major ecological impacts on other reef dependent species like fish and invertebrates. The degradation of the reef can affect the resilience of the whole ecosystem, and its ability to recover from both natural and anthropogenic impacts. A damaged reef system may also lead to negative socio-economic flow-on effects to the communities’ dependant on them.

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