Coral Triangle Initiative was originally proposed by Indonesia. The term "Coral Triangle" refers to the geographical are enclosed by the Philippines, the May and Indonesia archipelagos, and Papua New Guinea, which is the world's center of marine biodiversity, that is, the area where the greatest number of species of marine organisms are found. J.C. Briggs (1974) a zoo geographer identified this triangular area of archipelagos in his book, Marine Zoo geography, as the world's center of marine biodiversity. Now it has become a rallying point for marine biodiversity conservation.

Indonesia has the largest area of coral reefs in Asia. It is not surprising that it initiated the Coral Triangle regional program. The Philippines with ca 25,000 square kilometers of reefs is second to Indonesia, which is probably 80,000 square kilometers of reefs. Coral reefs in Indonesia are in a similar degraded condition as those in the Philippines. These two countries should learn form each other how to manage and protect coral reefs and associated ecosystems. The regional Coral Triangle Initiative presents an opportunity for such a collaborative effort.

One of the features of DENR national program is the establishment of large areas of no-take marine reserves consisting of reefs, sea grass beds and mangroves. This is an improvement of existing community based initiatives, which are concerned mainly with small marine protected areas managed by local government units and local communities. The disadvantage of small areas is that their benefits to society are also small. It is time to protect large areas of coastal ecosystems, including deep seas, that would protect not only smaller fish but also large species of pelagic fish and other large marine vertebrates. Thus far, deep protected areas are rare.


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