As main partners in mobilizing resources to support the Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI), the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) plan to generate a total of US$25.5 million for the Southeast Asia and Pacific regions.
The Southeast Asia region is expected to receive $12.3 million in funds to support the collaborative program to protect the coral triangle while the Pacific region is expected to receive $13.2 million. Speaking in a seminar on the sidelines of the World Ocean Conference in Manado on Monday, ADB principal natural resources economist Mahfuz Ahmed said the development bank was ready to “work behind the scene” for CTI.
“By the end of the day, it is the governments that can ensure sustainability. As a development partner, we will work together with these countries,” Mafuz said. ADB Natural Resources Economist Marilou Dilon told The Jakarta Post that the budget allocation was an indicative to how much the regions would receive in the implementation of the collaborative initiative to protect the coral triangle.
“The Southeast Asia region is expected to receive a total of $12.3 million, which will be divided among three countries: $4.6 million for Indonesia, $3.1 million for Malaysia and $4.6 million for the Philippines,” Dilon said. Dilon said of the total funds for Southeast Asia, approximately $10.3 million would come from GEF and the rest from ADB.
GEF is is the largest founder of projects in protecting the environment with a total members of 178 countries. It provides grants for projects related to six focal areas: biodiversity, climate change, international waters, land degradation, the ozone layer, and persistent organic pollutants. GEF has pledged grants of up to $ 65 million for CTI-related projects. ADB basically serves as the lead agency in organizing the projects and funding from a range of partners, which will support conservation, policy development and institutional strengthening efforts under the CTI.
The Pacific CTI has been identified as the first priority by GEF in its Pacific Alliance for Sustainability (PAS) program, which is aimed at creating sustainable livelihoods for families depending on the sea for their income, and help address pressures on reefs and local fisheries. Distribution of ADB and GEF funds in the pacific region is expected as the following: Papua New Guinea with $4.5 million, Timor Leste with 2.6 million, the Solomon Islands with 2.8 million, Vanuatu with $2.3 million and Fiji with $958,000.
ADB senior safeguards specialist Edy Brotoisworo said the region would also receive funds from bilateral partners such as Australia and the United States through USAID. The U.S. government has pledged nearly $40 million to support the initiative in both regions. While the Australian government is slated to announce its contribution to the CTI during the visit of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to Manado on Friday.
CTI on Coral Reefs, Fisheries and Food Security is a high-profile effort involving six countries in Southeast Asia and other partners which was launched by the Indonesian President in Bali in 2007 to preserve and manage the region’s marine resources.
Source: The Jakarta Post – May 11, 2009
By Andi Haswidi