The Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries, and Food Security (CTI-CFF) is thrilled to announce the celebration of Coral Triangle Day 2023, marking the beginning of the long-term ‘OceansNeedActions’ campaign.

This initiative aims to encourage active participation from all stakeholders within the Coral Triangle region to address anthropogenic threats to the marine ecosystem, this year focusing on the pressing issue of plastic pollution in our oceans.

"WCS is proud to be a technical advisor to the Coral Triangle Conservation Fund and a strategic partner of the CTI-CFF," said Martin Callow, WCS Regional Director, Southeast Asian Archipelago. "Conserving the Coral Triangle's marine and coastal biodiversity is a global priority.  In line with the Global Biodiversity Framework, the CTCF will be instrumental in ensuring sustainable funding for the expansion and enhancement of Marine Protected and Conserved Areas management, and will provide essential support for reef dependent communities across the region.

CTI-CFF is announcing publicly the Regional Plan of Action (RPOA) 2.0, a ten-year strategic framework spanning from 2021 to 2030, that provides Strategic Directions, Goals and Objectives. CTI-CFF seeks to foster a resilient and enabling community to support the conservation of the world's most diverse and vital marine resources.

“This RPOA 2.0 was developed through deliberation with all member countries, partners, collaborators and other relevant stakeholders, and we are confident that CTI-CFF will rise up to meet the challenges and opportunities ahead, and will contribute significantly to the global targets,” said Dr. Mohd. Kushairi Mohd. Rajuddin, Executive Director of CTI-CFF Regional Secretariat.

To support the implementation of RPOA 2.0, CTI-CFF and its member countries and partners are pleased to announce the trust fund that is the Coral Triangle Conservation Fund.

This fund is to provide sustainable, long-term funding for Marine Protected and Conserved Areas (MPCAs), benefitting the Coral Triangle’s nature and communities. The Coral Triangle Conservation Fund will fill a much-needed gap in available resources to support conservation of these vital marine resources, which directly support the livelihood of over 130 million people. The Fund is currently in the start-up phase, with a highly committed Board and early financial support from KfW /EU and USAID in designing the fund. Coral Triangle Conservation Fund is actively pursuing funding for its first round of grant making, and expects to be fully operational in 2024.

Executive Director of CTI-CFF Regional Secretariat expressed enthusiasm for the Coral Triangle Conservation Fund, stating, "This initiative will focus its support on the protection, restoration, and transformation of marine protected and conserved areas within the Coral Triangle region. We believe that together, we can make a substantial difference in safeguarding our oceans."

The CTI-CFF extends an invitation for action to all countries and coastal communities, urging them to address the global issue of ocean plastic pollution. CTI-CFF implores governments to commit to reducing waste production, preventing the contamination of nature with trash, and developing innovative solutions for waste management.

In the same occasion, the North Minahasa District government announces its new regulation aimed at prohibiting single-use plastic consumption in Likupang, an esteemed Super Priority Tourism Destination in Indonesia.

Joune J. E. Ganda, S.E., M.A.P., Regent of North Minahasa shared his thoughts on this milestone, stating, "We should participate in the preservation of the Coral Triangle marine resources, by halting the consumption of single-use plastics. We are taking a significant step toward preserving our natural resources and protecting the marine environment, which we really depend on for our fishing industries and more importantly for our tourism assets."

Likupang boasts a rich array of assets that make it a prime destination for both tourism and fishery. Its stunning coastline is adorned with pristine white sandy beaches, vibrant coral reefs, and crystal-clear waters teeming with diverse marine life. It’s also a strategic location within the Coral Triangle that offers ample opportunities for sustainable fishery, as the region is known for its abundant fish stocks and thriving marine biodiversity.

Coral Triangle Day 2023 and the OceansNeedActions campaign mark a pivotal moment in the conservation efforts within the Coral Triangle region. CTI-CFF looks forward to fostering collaboration and inspiring impactful actions from all stakeholders to combat plastic pollution and preserve the marine ecosystems we all depend on.