Protecting marine ecosystems and managing fisheries in the Coral Triangle

Timeframe: 2014-2016
Country/Region: Philippines and Indonesia, Asia
Partner: WWF International

Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) have proven to be a successful tool around the world to protect biodiversity and the habitats that ocean life needs. Evidence also indicates that MPAs make ecosystems more resilient to the effects of climate change and ocean acidification. The Coral Triangle has more than 1,500 MPAs designated throughout the region, covering just 1.4 per cent of the region’s oceans and coasts.

With this new partnership, WWF and Fondation Segré are implementing an innovative initiative in the Coral Triangle which not only protects marine biodiversity and threatened habitats, but also aims to rebuild fish stocks for the benefit of local fishermen and businesses through a collaborative management approach. This will result in an expansion of the network of critical marine areas that are not only protected, but also effectively managed and sustainably financed.

This innovative approach will allow to:

  • Push governments to put people’s needs first by focusing on creating MPAs to maximize fisheries production rather than strictly for protecting marine biodiversity.
  • Engage the local seafood and tourism sector in the design, management and financing of MPAs or sustainable fishing initiatives, in exchange for access to some of the benefits produced by improved protection.
  • Involve local fishermen and communities in the management of marine resources by helping them gain exclusive rights to fisheries located in or near MPAs and working with them to improve the health and productivity of their fisheries.

This model will be implemented in three key marine areas in the Coral Triangle: Cendrawasih Bay and Koon Island in Indonesia, and the Palawan MPA Network in the Philippines.

WWF’s work in the Coral Triangle