Thursday, 12 March 2009 11:52 AM

U.S. Supports Coral Triangle Initiative

The U.S. Ambassador Leslie Rowe announced the continued U.S. support of the Coral Triangle Initiative at the Senior Officials Meeting and Ministerial Meeting in Port Moresby.

The U.S. Government has pledged nearly $40 million to support the international effort to save the Coral Triangle, the world's greatest expanse of mangroves, coral reefs and diversity of fish, currently under threat from pollution, unsustainable fishing practices and climate change.

Solomon Islands is one of six countries to benefit from the Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI). The CTI seeks to protect 6 million square kilometers of ocean and coasts, an area that has been called the "Amazon of the Seas" for its biodiversity. The Coral Triangle, where the Indian and Pacific oceans meet, is home to 30% of the world's coral reefs representing 75% of the known coral species.

"The Coral Triangle is a unique treasure," said Ambassador Rowe. "Its biologically diverse coastal and marine resources are found only in such abundance in this region. The provision of livelihoods, food, and other benefits for over 360 million people living in and around the region is also evidence of its precious and unique value. We are all connected, the global community, through not only the environmental services the Coral Triangle region provides, but also by its sheer beauty and by our shared commitment to sustainable development. Supporting your efforts to achieve these benefits is our only agenda."

The U.S. Government will provide funds over five years to the Coral Triangle Initiative, a consortium formed to promote sustainable fisheries and coastal resource management programs in East Timor, Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, and Solomon Islands.

This funding is intended to support the commitments and progress made by the six Coral Triangle (CT6) countries' governments on the CTI's plan of action. Supporting the CT6 is an association of development partners, including multi-lateral donor agencies, non-governmental organizations, private donor foundations, and governmental agencies.

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