VIEWPOINT : Continuing the legacy of creating lasting impacts in the Coral Triangle

Posted on 15 January 2014    
Jackie Thomas, WWF Coral Triangle Program Leader
© Jackie Thomas
By Jackie Thomas, WWF Coral Triangle Program Leader

It’s an incredible honour to be trusted with heading up WWF’s Coral Triangle programme and an exciting challenge to be leading the development of a new programme for WWF in the amazing Coral Triangle region.

As Dr Lida Pet Soede moves into a new role within WWF where she will take forward the successes from the Coral Triangle programme and share the lessons and her experience with a global oceans audience, she leaves in place a strong foundation of people, networks, and assets for the continued collaboration and innovation in the region.

The significant achievements of the Coral Triangle team over the past 6 years, led by Lida, provide the backbone and springboard for magnifying and scaling-up work to reduce negative impacts on marine biodiversity and helping to sustain the livelihoods and food security for the millions of people who live in and rely on the marine resources and ecosystems services provided by the Coral Triangle.

Big tasks ahead

We still have a big task ahead of us over the next six months as the WWF Coral Triangle team carries out its work towards achieving WWF’s targets for the region.

This includes our work on building sustainable fisheries, reducing the footprint of key industries reliant on the marine environment, tackling turtle and shark trade issues, policy and advocacy engagement, and our ongoing partnership with the six countries and development partners of the Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries and Food Security (CTI-CFF).

During this period, we will also be working within the WWF network and with key stakeholders to develop the next phase of our engagement in the Coral Triangle region. This will build on and utilize the platforms already initiated by WWF such as the Coral Triangle Regional Business Forum, the Climate Change Adaptation Marketplace, Coral Triangle Communications Platform, and the Asia Pacific Sustainable Seafood and Trade Network.

It will also provide scope for new ideas and innovation for facilitating transformation of business and industry for sustainable livelihoods and food security, for healthy marine and oceans habitats, and for continued ecosystem services.

A new journey

As we begin the new journey in 2014, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Lida for her inspiring and motivational leadership. Lida has worked in this region for many years, starting out her career in WWF as advisor to WWF-Indonesia’s team where she designed a nation-wide Marine Protected Area strategy and added strategies for Indonesian fisheries management to the WWF Indonesia marine conservation programme. Before heading the WWF Coral Triangle programme, Lida was the Director for WWF Indonesia’s marine programme. Since then, she has built an amazing career of which just one of her many achievements has been the creation and leadership of WWF’s Coral Triangle programme over the past 7 years.

Big shoes to fill

Leading by example, Lida has provided the guidance, scope, and encouragement to her team and others to be bold and brave, to think outside of the box, to take risks, and to innovate for lasting changes both on and in the water.

In her new global role Lida will use her experience and knowledge from the Coral Triangle region in other parts of the world through WWF’s global network. And whilst this might be her final Viewpoint as WWFs Coral Triangle leader, it will certainly not be her last contribution to the Coral Triangle or our monthly newsletter as Lida will maintain a close relationship with the WWF Coral Triangle programme, providing guidance to the development of our new 3-year programme and in her new more global position within the WWF network.

I am excited about this next phase of WWF’s work in the Coral Triangle and broader Asia Pacific region as we continue on our journey as partners in CTI-CFF.

And on behalf of the WWF Coral Triangle programme I also wish Lida the very best in her new role with WWF’s Global Marine Programme, knowing that she will now have the opportunity to broaden her horizons and share her vast experience and inspiration in other parts of the world.

Best wishes to all in 2014.

Jackie Thomas, WWF Coral Triangle Program Leader
© Jackie Thomas Enlarge

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