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Australia Strengthens Commitment to the Coral Triangle Initiative

Australia Strengthens Commitment to the Coral Triangle Initiative

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The Australian Government recently announced that it is providing a further $6 million to the Coral Triangle Initiative, supporting the 120 million people in the region who rely on rich and diverse marine life for their livelihoods.

A local ranger freedives in Gizo, Western Province, Solomon Islands. The Coral Triangle is home to 76 percent of the world’s known coral species and is home to the highest reef fish diversity with 37 percent of the world’s reef fish species. (Photo by: CTI-CFF/James Morgan)

A local ranger freedives in Gizo, Western Province, Solomon Islands. The Coral Triangle is home to 76 percent of the world’s known coral species and is home to the highest reef fish diversity with 37 percent of the world’s reef fish species. (Photo by: CTI-CFF/James Morgan)

Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, and Environment Minister Greg Hunt, announced the new funding package at the World Parks Congress in Sydney.

WWF-Australia CEO Dermot O’Gorman said the announcement was a welcome investment to assist countries across the Asia Pacific to improve the management of their oceans and coast.

“We applaud this announcement by the Australian Government,” Mr O’Gorman said.

“This funding will not only assist in preserving the natural heritage of the Coral Triangle, but to also enhance the economic livelihoods of the people who call the region home.”

The Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries and Food Security was formed in 2009 by the six Coral Triangle governments. WWF is one of seven Development Partners that provide ongoing support to the Initiative.

Located in the waters off the coasts of Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste, the Coral Triangle is the world’s marine life hotspot. It contains the highest diversity of iridescent corals, fish, crustaceans, molluscs and marine plant species on Earth.

A news release from Australia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Australia’s funding will help these countries to improve sustainable use of this outstanding natural heritage.

At the regional level, it will focus on three priorities: developing and implementing integrated, ecosystem-based management of countries’ seas and coasts; improving economic opportunities through a regional approach to ecotourism, and support for communities to manage and sustainably develop their natural resources.

In keeping with Australia’s development priorities, this investment in the Coral Triangle Initiative will support activities that build sustainable economic growth, encourage private sector development and empower women and girls.

The new funding builds on $7.2 million that Australia has provided to the Coral Triangle Initiative since 2009.

Further information on the announcement by the Australian Government can be found at: Coral Triangle Initiative – Supporting our regional partners

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