High Praise for Coral Triangle Initiative

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Calling it “a beacon of hope,” NOAA administrator Dr. Jane Lubchenco called the Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries, and Food Security (“CTI”) “the broadest and deepest engagement in regional ocean governance to date.”

CTI is a multilateral partnership of six countries working together to sustain extraordinary marine and coastal resources by addressing crucial issues such as food security, climate change and marine biodiversity.  Although the U.S. is not a member county (Indonesia, Malaysia, PNG, Philippines, Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste) NOAA has directed substantial technical assistance and resources to supporting CTI.

Speaking at the opening of the 12th International Coral Reef Symposium in Cairns, Australia on July 9, 2012, Dr. Lubchenco lauded the CTI as an example of leadership, multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary partnership, peer learning, and cutting edge scientific innovation.

She also stated that the CTI’s unique regional approach to ocean governance is being keenly watched as a model for  multi-national partnership to develop and implement solutions that address food security in the face of climate change and ocean acidification.

Dr. Lubchenco said that CTI’s leadership, with its peer-to-peer learning and cooperation, has catalyzed innovation in the fields of resilience, EAFM (Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries Management), and management of ecosystem services. She further noted that the significance of CTI’s progress is three-fold:

  •  This is perhaps the broadest and deepest engagement in regional ocean governance to date.
  •   It is significant to the field of practice: EAFM has largely been theoretical until very recently.   To achieve significant advancements at the six-country regional level, national levels, and local levels in the span of one month is astounding.
  •   This is one of the few examples of integrating adaptation to climate change and ocean acidification with fisheries’ food security.

The transcript of the address can be found here.

Food security and reef conservation are ineorably linked, and unless both issues are addressed coherenetly and simultaeously.  EAFM is s tep in the right direction.  More about EAFM can be found here.