The United States is a committed partner with the Indonesian government and the private sector to protect Indonesia’s marine and coastal environment in the Coral Triangle, an area spanning six Southeast Asian countries that is recognized as the single most biologically diverse and ecologically rich region in the world. U.S. support for the Coral Triangle is part of the U.S.-Indonesia Comprehensive Partnership.
As one of the founding partners of the Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI), the United States has long recognized the Coral Triangle’s potential for far-reaching environmental and economic benefits. The United States is contributing $63 million to address threats from overfishing, destructive fishing practices, and climate change in the Coral Triangle. This includes $32 million for USAID programs in Indonesia to help the Indonesian government protect and sustainably manage 20 million hectares of ocean and coastal resources. U.S. support in the Coral Triangle region is led by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), working with the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the U.S. Department of Justice, and a consortium of environmental NGOs.
The United States partners with Indonesia to enhance food and economic security for the 360 million households in the Coral Triangle area, increase resilience to climate change and natural disasters, and restore biodiversity in the coral and fisheries. Central to our work is the use of science and technology to foster innovation and build people-to-people ties. The United States’ work also promotes Indonesia’s “Blue Economy,” an initiative announced by President Yudhoyono at the U.N. Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) that leverages sustainable ocean-based economic development to drive income, food, and business opportunities.
Highlights of U.S. support for the Coral Triangle in Indonesia:
- USAID helped strengthen eight million hectares of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) that support livelihoods and economies. These MPAs also reduce overfishing and over exploitation in the Coral Triangle.
- USAID partnered with the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF) to establish a national marine conservation system that protects the biologically and economically important coastal and marine resources, and associated ecosystems.
- USAID’s work in the Coral Triangle led to the declaration of Kei Kecil as a MPA by the Regent of Southeast Maluku. The MPA declaration will help protect the leatherback turtle and empower local communities to be more active in sustainably managing their environment. Kei Kecil is 150,000 hectares of the 450,000 hectares of targeted new MPAs that USAID pledged to support.
- USAID facilitated a public-private partnership where the MMAF and BP MIGAS (Badan Pelaksana Kegiatan UsahaHulu Minyak Dan Gas Bumi), Indonesia’s regulatory body for oil and gas upstream activities, will fund conservation activities in MPAs.
- The U.S.-Indonesia University Partnership Program supported collaboration between Udayana, Diponegoro and Papua Universities and the University of California at Los Angeles to conduct marine biodiversity research. The University of California at Santa Cruz worked with Hasanuddin and Diponegoro Universities and Eijkman in researching marine life that can be used to develop ground-breaking new medicines.
- USAID conducted scientific research to determine areas that are high priority marine biodiversity conversation investments. The findings were published in Priority Geography, a book developed in partnership with MMAF.
- The U.S. National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration collaborated with MMAF to design training programs for the Ministry’s officials that build capacity to address environmental crimes such as illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing.