Coral Reef NOAA
May 29, 2016  

Coral Triangle Region

The Coral Triangle region
The Coral Triangle

  • Global epicenter of marine biological diversity
  • Shared within the waters of six countries, the “CT6”: Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Timor-Leste, the Solomon Islands, and the Philippines
  • 1 in 3 people of the region’s 363 million depend upon coral reefs for daily sustenance and survival

NOAA’s International Coral Program’s broadest portfolio provides technical assistance to “The Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries and Food Security” (CTI).  To date, NOAA’s technical assistance and capacity building in the Coral Triangle focus in support of six country CTI priorities, as well as bilaterally in Indonesia, Timor-Leste, and the Philippines. 

The CTI, one of the broadest and deepest regional ocean governance initiatives to date, is a multilateral partnership launched in 2009 to safeguard the Coral Triangle’s unparalleled biodiversity, to protect food security for the 120 million (1 in 3 people) in the region critically dependent upon coral reefs, and to enhance the capacity to adapt to a changing climate.  

Recognizing the global importance of this initiative in protecting marine biodiversity and food security in this geopolitically significant region, the U.S. government offers considerable financial, political and political support the establishment of the CTI. NOAA became one of three implementing organizations in the US CTI Support Program (US CTI), a 5-year, $42 million, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and US Department of State-funded program. Through US CTI, NOAA and partners aim to improve the management of millions of hectares of the Coral Triangle’s coastal and marine ecosystems to protect food security and strengthen resilience to climate change for the 363 million people of the Coral Triangle.


NOAA’s International Coral Program in the Coral Triangle

All of NOAA's programs are conducted in partnership with across NOAA program offices, and with USAID, local and international NGO partners, local and regional Coral Triangle experts. NOAA supports the CTI priority activities at the Coral Triangle regional level, as well as in Indonesia, Timor-Leste, and the Philippines. These efforts include:

CTI regional level: At the regional level, NOAA and its partners' work align along three main areas:

  • Climate change adaptation planning (CCA), towards a CCA Region-wide Early Action Plan adopted by the CTI in October 2011, and harmonized Local Early Action Plans implemented in at least one priority geography per country.
  • MPA management, leading to a Coral Triangle MPA System developed and adopted across the six-country region.
  • Ecosystem approaches to fisheries management (EAFM), towards an EAFM Regional Framework adopted, guidelines developed for CT6 national-level operationalization, and capacity built in science-for-decision-making, management, and enforcement nationally and locally.
  • Current CRCP activities in the Coral Triangle region

Indonesia: NOAA provides technical assistance and capacity building for Indonesia's Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries and other management institutions through the USAID/Indonesia Marine Resources Program. NOAA's programs include:

  • Enhancing MPA management capacity:  Training of trainers program in topics such as: MPA 101; MPA Management Planning; Sustainable Fisheries for MPA Management; and Sustainable Tourism for MPAs
  • Enhancing EAFM management capacity (Ecosystem Approaches to Fisheries Management): through capacity building and technical assistance in EAFM 101; Reef Fish Stock Assessment in Data Poor Conditions; Port State Measures; Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS) National Assessment; and Fisheries Observer Program assistance.
  • Current CRCP activities in Indonesia.

Timor-Leste: NOAA and USAID are partnering to support the Timor-Leste Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries in several key climate adaptation and marine management needs:

  • Where are the nearshore resources of Timor-Leste? (Satellite imagery and mapping)
  • What are the nearshore resources and human dimenstions of Timor-Leste? (Coral reef resource assessment, socioeconomic monitoring, and building capacity for integrated monitoring)
  • What are the threats to Timor-Leste's nearshore marine resources, including the cascading impacts of climate and ocean acidification? (Establishing first ocean acidification baseline and monitoring)
  • What marine ecosystem-based management capacities are needed? (capacity building on EAFM 101, integrated monitoring, science for decision-making, and addressing climate and ocean acidification impacts).
  • Current CRCP activities in Timor-Leste
Philippines: the NOAA Coral Program is working with local municipalities, NGOs, federal agencies, and university partners to establish the first ocean acidification baseline in the Coral Triangle and establish a common science for decision-making framework that can be replicated across this vast archipelagic country. Similar techniques will be implemented in Timor-Leste, as well.


NOAA has assisted in capacity building for local agencies in the enforcement of fishery management regulations. Local fish stand in Timor Leste.
Helicopter Patrolling