Management of the Coral Triangle
The six nations of the Coral Triangle came together in 2009 to form the Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries and Food Security. The countries use national coordinating committees, learning networks, regional exchanges, capacity building workshops to come together to share their knowledge and expertise.
The Coral Triangle Support Partnership (CTSP) is an initiative run in collaboration with WWF, The Nature Conservancy, Conservation International and USAid, among other groups. It is a 5 year, $32 million program designed to support the governments of Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines,mSolomon Islands and Timor-Leste. The initiative is aimed at addressing over-fishing, destructive fishing practices, pollution and climate change.
CTSP assists in setting up and managing Marine Protected Areas, to conserve reefs and fish, protect shorelines, improve fisheries catches for locals, and enhance quality of life for communities.
Each of the six nations has a National plan of Action which is aligned with the Regional Plan of Action set out by the CTI.
Fishing practices are regulated, management practices align with stock distribution, spawning areas and migration routes are monitored and regulated.
- 5.5 million hectares of marine ecosystems under protection.
- Training of wildlife wardens to manage coastal resources
- Stopped issuing permits for export of endangered humphead wrasse, and buy back systems to buy out the species from fish farms.
- Maliangian Handicraft Workshop - provide alternative lifestyle options to fishing.
Papua New Guinea
- Empower local communities and their traditional laws
- Workshops, field trips, training
- Locally Managed Marine Areas
- Manus Environmental Communities Network - share best practice with communities
- Milne Bay - fishermen trained and engaged in environmental monitoring, find raising and reporting.
- Mahonia Na Dari Research and Conservation Centre - The Mahonia Na Dari Research and - Conservation Centre is a non-government organisation that develops marine environmental conservation education for children and local communities around Kimbe Bay, Papua New Guinea.
- Volunteer rangers in Western Provincetown monitor and tag turtle populations using their skills in water acrobatics and free diving.
- Development of Best Practice Guidelines
- Building the capacity of local groups such as the Gizo Marine Conservation Area Management Committee and the Tetepare Descendants Association
- Tetepare Island - ecotourism, local rangers, gather data, patrol the island, monitor harvesting and confiscate illegal catches.
- 20,000 hectares of Marine Protected Areas.
- Government to map and plan ways to increase fish numbers for the future.
- Mangrove planting projects
- Establishment of Niño Konis Santana National Park
- Community awareness -workshops, film screenings, hands-on training,
- Surveys of coastlines
WWF Infographic - Marine protected areas in the Coral Triangle A map showing the Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), Coral Triangle boundaries, value of fisheries, subsidies paid to commercial fisheries, and funding required to support MPAs. See more...
New hope for fisheries development in the Pacific.
Financing marine protected areas.
Coral Triangle Center
Protecting marine turtles in the Indo-Pacific.
Building a sustainable live reef food fish trade
Promoting sustainable tuna fisheries in the Coral Triangle
Tackling fisheries bycatch
Malaysia - Traders continued to keep wrasse in "grow out" cages
Papua New Guinea- difficult to coordinate as there are diverse systems of traditional law.
Solomon Islands - geographical spread- managed by local communities. Lack of technical skills, scientific data, and resources such as equipment and fuel can hinder management. Complex clan structures and customary land ownership.
Philippines - vulnerable communities
Timor-Leste -limited information of reefs make it difficult for planning and decision-making.
Legal and Policy gaps in the management of the live reef food fish trade in the Coral Triangle.
Below is an infographic embedded that explores the destruction and overfishing of reefs of the Philippines
WWF has created an Infographic exploring seafood caught in the Coral Triangle. It incorporates a map showing the value of the tuna industry and live reef food fish industry, as well as levels of over fishing in the region. See the infographic...
Links to explore human impacts on the Coral Triangle:
Coastal development destroying reefs off Phuket
An overview of shark utilisation in the Coral Triangle region.
Problems in the Coral Triangle
Climate change, reefs and the Coral Triangle
Coral Triangle facts
WWF - Coral Triangle
Coral Triangle Initiative
Fishing for a fair deal in the Pacific and why the EU must change their game.
Click to view a range of article on the Coral Triangle from the Guardian.
WWF Infographic - Turtles in the Coral TriangleAn infographic showing the life cycle of turtles, threats to turtles, statistics on survival rates, and protection statuses of different species. See more...
Dermot O'Gorman, CEO of the World Wide Fund for Nature, spoke at the Eco Expo a few days ago. The theme of O'Gorman's presentation was "Is it possible to live in harmony with nature?".
To answer his question he discussed a number of different case studies around the world of individuals who have done extraordinary things to progress environmental knowledge, and cases where sustainable development options have been implemented. These examples included development in the village of Durian Rambun, cane farmer Tony Bugeja creating systems to manage sugar cane runoff, creator of the concept of the ecological footprint William Rees, and Dave Keeling who began the longest running atmospheric measurements of CO2.
Charles Keeling - CO2 monitoring
O'Gorman discussed the work of Charles (Dave) Keeling on CO2 levels in our atmosphere. Keeling conducted research on CO2 level during the 1950s. This work has continued at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography and resulted in the Mauna Record, the longest continuous record of CO2 measurements in the world. Despite the scientific nature of his work, it is probably best know as the inspiration for the Al Gore’s lecture/documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” (you can see the trailer below). Several years ago, Keeling’s son Ralph Keeling predicted that CO2 levels would surpass 400ppm in 2014 (human habitation of an area is best at around 300ppm). This actually occurred earlier this year.
Scripps CO2 program.
William Rees - ecological footprint
William Rees of the University of British Columbia coined the term "ecological footprint". This developed from his awareness of his connections to ecosystems and the planet through his knowledge of local food production. He applied the concept of carrying capacity to population growth and our ever-expanding needs and wants. Below is a clip of Rees describing some of the key points which led him to his theory.
Tony Bugeja - reducing runoff
Tony Bugeja is a third generation sugar cane farmer in Mackay. A serious issue affecting the Great Barrier Reef is the impact of runoff from sugar cane farms. This runoff contains fertilisers, pesticides and insecticides. When it enters the water the increase in phosphorous encourages eutrophication and algal blooms. The other nutrients and sediments in the runoff smother the corals. Tony was concerned with the reputation of sugar cane farmers as environmental vandals and wanted to ensure the effective management of the reef for his community. He set up a project to reduce runoff with other farmers in his area. In doing so, he has proved that it is also profitable to do so. 80 farmers became involved and they are promoting the systems to others. Monitoring has shown that the project has been able to increase water quality. The project has had the added benefit of influencing the thinking of the sugar cane companies who purchase the sugar cane. The companies are also under pressure from consumers who are searching for sustainable products.
Mackay farmers honoured with reef rescue accolades.
Durian Rambun - community ownership
Durian Rambun is a remote village in Indonesiawhere surrounding forests are being wiped out by forestry companies. Rosidi is the village chief who has overseen vast change in his community. The Asian Pulp and Paper company announced the creation of a forest plantation on village land. The community was concerned over the company's reputation of exploiting indigenous people and stripping forests bare. This is a significant site as the area is populated by the last 400 Sumatran Tigers in the wild. These tigers have evolved to suit these condition, and much of their home has been destroyed for paper production. Following the announcement of the plantation the community fought back. The community successfully lobbied the government and secured the rights to the forest for the next 35 years. In February APP announced cessation of natural forest clearing, and agreed to review their human rights issues and NGO scrutiny.
Seeing the forests for the trees.
So, is it possible to live in harmony with nature?
The examples discussed provided insights into how even the smallest ideas can have huge impacts down the track. Many individuals and communities can make decisions on how they choose to live their lives. Consumers wield enormous power in that they can determine the products and practices by business through their consumer decisions. We have the knowledge and skills to live in harmony with nature, and we have the connectivity to each other to share the methods with each other and motivate change. We all have the potential to do this.
O'Gorman left us with the following challenge:
What difference will you make?
What is your story and how will you tell it to billions of people?
How can we use these ideas and case studies in our classrooms?
Keeling's work ties in very well with Year 11 Geography if you choose to explore Climate Change in the Biophysical Interactions topic, or, if you choose the Natural Resources topic, it could be discussed in the environmental and social issues dot point.
The ecological footprint conceptualised by Rees is important background information for any discussion on ecological sustainability which can be found in both Year 11 and Year 8 Geography.
Tony Bugeja's cane farming strategies feed into a case study on the Great Barrier Reef in Year 12 Geography, providing specific examples of management strategies.
The Durian Rambun case study could be applied to a range of topics across a variety of years. For example, it could be used when looking at Forests in Year 7, Endangered Species in Year 8, Ecologically Sustainable Development in Year 8 or 11, and possibly in Year 12, depending on your case study of an Ecosystem At Risk. If you're about to implement the Australian Curriculum (I think every state but NSW) then it is also a great case study because it is based in Asia and addresses the Cross-Curriculum Priority of "Asia and Australia's engagement with Asia".
Another interesting question that Dermot raised was, "Does social media have the capacity to change the world or is it the biggest ever sinkhole of productivity?" In light of some events that have occurred over the last few days I will examine this question in a separate blog post, Are We Tweeting While Rome Burns?
My Year 7 class are currently learning about coral reefs. We have already covered a fair bit of the content, and I thought it might be a good time to cover some specific literacy skills. I wanted to get the students to write a report on threats to coral reefs. If I was to tell my class this directly a few of them could get straight onto the task, however, most of the class would find this task quite daunting.
In the first part of the lesson I showed a short video about threats to coral reefs. The students were asked to write down any threats to reefs as they were discussed, I also wrote dot points on the board. We ended up with a fairly comprehensive list of threats, without being overly technical.
When the video was finished, we discussed the main themes from the video. As a class, we examined the dot points on the board and tried to categorise the dot points into themes. We put different symbols next to the points to indicate themes. For example, one of the themes was tourism, so dot points such as snorkellers breaking coral, forest cleared to build resorts and damage to reefs from tourist boats, were all allocated the same symbol. We ended up with about about 5 or 6 themes, each with several associated dot points. A few examples:
After discussion, we wrote an introduction as a class. We underlined the key terms in the question and discussed what they meant. The students offered up a range of possible sentences that we could use in our introduction. We settled on a few that were general, used some vaguely sophisticated language and key terms from the question.
We discussed the key elements of a paragraph. We have completed a similar task earlier in the year. It took a little while for the class to remember the TEEL structure but eventually one of the students pulled out a handout from Visual Arts. They are clearly doing something similar in VA, but it was surprising that they didn't automatically transfer the information from one subject to another, or remember covering it in Geography before. It was just another reminder how often we need to reinforce these literacy skills.
I suggested that we should write our first paragraph about the impact of tourism on coral reefs. Each student had to write their own topic sentence. We discussed that the topic sentence needed to be a general statement that gave the reader a sense of what the rest of the paragraph would be about. I asked a few of the students to write their topic sentences on the board and we discussed the pros and cons of each example. Students made suggestions about how to improve the topic sentences.
We repeated the process for the other sentences required for the first paragraphs.
The second body paragraph was on the impact of fishing on coral reefs. The class shared their topic sentences again. They were then required to write the rest of the paragraph by themselves without assistance. A few students were asked to read out their paragraphs after the students had been given sufficient time. I gave the students two other topics to write paragraphs about without assistance: removal of mangroves and climate change.
We discussed the requirements of a conclusion: refocus the reader on the question, bring together all of the main points of the report and provide a brief summary of the report. Students offered a few appropriate sentences to include in their conclusions and then discussed the pros and cons of each sentence. Student were then required to write their own conclusion.
Students were given 5 minutes to re-read their work and make any edits. It was suggested that they check their work for capital letters at the beginning of sentences and for proper nouns, consistent use of tense and use of appropriate key terms. The list of criteria could be changed easily based on the students and their needs.
See the student activities.
I've created this virtual field site based on coral reefs around Lizard Island. It focuses on 3 locations around the main island and allows students to carryout out research techniques that would be very difficult to have access to otherwise. Students can conduct a coral survey, a fauna survey, undertake photographic analysis and create a precis map. It contains links to a range of secondary sources of information about the islands, adding depth to the student's virtual fieldwork. In the Analysis section students need to compare the information they have gathered from each site to make conclusions. Click to examine the Lizard Island virtual fieldsite.
Deputy Principal at a Sydney high school. Coordinating author of the new Geoactive book series.