On land, only the Amazon comes close to rivaling the triangle for species richness. The area also sustains over 120 million people and garners more than $12 billion a year from nature-based tourism.
However, this marine wonderland is at risk. Unsustainable fishing, poorly planned development, pollution, population growth and the effects of climate change are all contributing to the degradation of the Coral Triangle.
The dangers the Coral Triangle faces were recognised at the Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) summit in September 2007, when 21 world leaders endorsed a proposal to safeguard the rich marine resources of the Indo-Pacific region for future generations under the banner of the Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries, and Food Security (CTI).
The CTI partners six governments to conserve the extraordinary marine life of this region. The proposal was endorsed at the Sydney APEC Leaders’ Declaration on Climate Change, Energy Security and Clean Development forum in 2007.