MANILA, PHILIPPINES - The Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Global Environment Facility (GEF), and the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) are helping five Pacific countries manage their marine resources in the Coral Triangle.

The project is part of ADB's commitment to the Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI) - a regional effort to preserve and manage Asia-Pacific's marine resources. ADB is coordinating the mobilization of financial support for the CTI plan of action, in consultation with development partners.

Often referred to as "the Amazon of the Seas," the Coral Triangle contains vast marine resources critical for the economic and food security of an estimated 120 million people. These resources are at immediate risk from a range of factors, including the impacts of climate change, over-fishing, and unsustainable fishing methods.

The ADB Board of Directors has approved a technical assistance of $1.15 million for Fiji Islands, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, and Vanuatu as part of the Strengthening Coastal and Marine Resources Management in the Coral Triangle of the Pacific (Phase 2) regional technical assistance project.

Aside from the technical assistance, ADB will also provide $800,000 in grant to be sourced from the Regional Cooperation and Integration Fund under the Regional Cooperation and Financing Partnership Facility.

The GEF will provide $13.1 million as grant to be administered by ADB. The AIMS will provide about $450,000 in non-cash contribution, which will not be administered by ADB. A total of $3 million will be contributed by the five participating governments. The overall project cost is estimated at around $18.5 million.

The technical assistance is one of three subprojects under the CTI plan. It will help ensure food security for the populations in Pacific countries due to increased resilience of their marine and coastal ecosystems.

The ADB technical assistance will also support the introduction of a more effective coastal and marine resource management, especially those associated with coral reefs, threatened by human and climate change impacts.

A climate change adaptation program is being built into the project, which will include conducting climate vulnerability assessments, developing climate adaptation measures, and creating public awareness of climate change challenges.

ADB will be the executing agency and will exercise overall responsibility for the coordination, supervision, and implementation of all project activities.