VIEWPOINT: Why We Need to Support Collaboration in the Coral Triangle with Ratification
Last month, the Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries, and Food Security (CTI-CFF)—the government-led initiative of the six countries in the Coral Triangle—held its 2nd Regional Priorities Workshop in Manado, Indonesia to identify the next set of regional priority actions for the period covering 2013 to 2016.
The status and progress of the nine priorities that were identified in the past years were presented, and new priorities were added from the CTI-CFF Regional Plan of Action, building on recent achievements and reflecting on opportunities for collaborative, multi-country, and transboundary efforts with support from the development partners.
The CTI-CFF development partners currently include the US and Australian governments, the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Global Environment Facility (GEF), and the three NGOs that support the implementation of regional and transboundary strategies—Conservation International (CI), The Nature Conservancy (TNC), and WWF.
This year, several other very capable potential new partners are entering the mix. This is a great and much needed development to help implement the updated list that now contains 22 regional priorities.
I regarded this workshop as one of the best collegial, constructive, and solutions-oriented workshops I have been to in a long time. What made it all the more significant was how the Coral Triangle country delegates all felt part of bringing about positive change in the region either by openly collaborating where required, or taking individual responsibility to lead the facilitation of a regional priority where possible.
While the spirit of the workshop makes for great progress in the coming years, WWF and the other development partners stressed the need for all member countries to ratify the CTI-CFF.
Even if the spirit and energy to collaborate between countries at the technical level is at an all-time high, this will not result in much significant progress unless the highest levels of government in these countries are behind the CTI-CFF.
The delegates at last month’s workshop have all returned home to their respective countries and offices, revitalised to ask their governments to proceed and speed up the ratification.
Now WWF hopes that this will materialise soonest, as it will be key for the continued and growing partnerships for the coral reefs, fisheries, and food security in this outstanding part of the world.