It is impossible for anyone of us to unravel the true value of bounty that nature has bestowed on planet Earth. From one corner to the other, our abode in this universe is home to natural wonders that are priceless.
One such bundle of treasure is the Coral Triangle – a geographical term that includes the waters of Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste. This part of the world, spreading over six million sq km, is the most important centre of marine life in the world.
The region's significance is manifested in few simple facts – it is home to three fourth of known coral species, more than half of the world’s reefs, 40 percent of the world's coral reef fish species, and six of the world’s seven species of marine turtle. For a number of you, these few facts will conjure up images of a colorful world where whales, sharks, tuna, reef fish, turtles, dolphins, porpoise and other unknown, rare and endangered marine life forms exist. The vision itself is breathtaking! Isn't it? The real world is far more fascinating! The truth, infact, is that an unimaginable beauty and richness graces this underwater world, something that is difficult to describe in mere words.
With the above mentioned facts, it is also easy to decipher that the area is not just precious to conservationists but also to other set of people – the local people living on the coastline, the tourism industry and the respective governments of the the six countries, for instance. The economic benefit that is churned out from the fisheries, tourism and shoreline protection is too great to be ignored. The reefs are a direct source of livelihood for 120 million people.
However a number of factors, ranging from over exploitation of marine resource to fulfill the requirements of the increasing seafood market; destructive fishing techniques; unintentional killing of species not targeted and climate change, have led to the depletion of the Coral Triangle. There is dire need for some strong and concrete measures to be taken if the precious resource is to be preserved for future generation.
The good news, nonetheless, is that the government of the six countries have already woken up to the gravity of the situation and have initiated measures that should, in long run, benefit the preservation of this invaluable natural resource. The main aim is to protect the endangered species, improve fishing techniques and reduce the impact of the climate changes.
The first steps have been taken and the process of conservation has been set into motion, but it is of paramount important that the commitment and the pace of the conservation is never compromised on. Should this happen, we will face irreparable damages, the repercussions of which will be far reaching.
Let's hope that the efforts made in this direction have their desired results and we succeed in safeguarding the magnificent gift of