Finding Common Ground: Regional Collaboration for Marine Resource Management in the Coral Triangle Initiative
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The Coral Triangle is an area with high marine biodiversity that encompasses four Asian (Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, and Timor Leste) and two Melanesian (Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea) countries. The Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries and Food Security (CTI) is a partnership between these six countries to strengthen marine and coastal management in the Coral Triangle. In 2009, the countries adopted a Regional Plan of Action to work towards this goal. Regional collaboration on marine conservation provides an opportunity for countries to jointly address issues that are shared among nations and collaborative processes designed to engage diverse stakeholders have the potential to improve marine resource management. Through participation in the CTI's regional meetings, working groups and learning exchanges, representatives from participating countries along with transnational NGO partners had several opportunities to engage with each other. This study uses a combination of qualitative interviews and quantitative surveys with representatives from six countries and non-governmental organization involved in the CTI's regional activities to explore their perspectives on collaborative activities at the regional level. Results indicate that participants engaged in regional CTI activities valued the CTI's approach to marine conservation due to its potential to address shared concerns and raise awareness about the Coral Triangle region. In addition, this study finds that CTI activities created opportunities for social learning, which facilitated the development of collaborative relationships and the identification of common goals for marine resource management.
- Marine affairs