Green businesses to support Coral Triangle initiative


The pan regional Coral Triangle Initiative, endorsed by Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Timor Leste and other Pacific Rim neighbours like Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia, lays out a plan of action to preserve and manage marine resources.<!--more-->

The Coral Triangle, often referred to as the “Amazon of the Seas”, is spread across 14.7 million square km of ocean, encompassing these six countries in Southeast Asia and the Pacific. It has 75% of all known coral species on earth, and its resources are critical for the economy and food security of an estimated 120 million people in and around these countries.

Indiscriminate fishing practices over the past several decades and climate change have induced coral bleaching across the region causing losses that are calculated at some $38.3 billion cumulatively.

Now, a $2 million grant from the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction, administered by the Manila headquartered Asian Development Bank, will help poor fishing households in Indonesia and the Philippines, identify, establish and operate eco-friendly businesses that could potentially include seaweed culture, fish processing, boat transport services and livestock rearing.

Some 550 households in coastal villages are to receive technical skills training and financial assistance, including many headed by women and indigenous people. Business partnerships between project beneficiaries and the private sector are also being worked on to help expand households’ access to microfinance and marketing opportunities.

The project will run until 2014, until when small and medium entrepreneurs will be able to take advantage of the initiative to establish their eco-friendly businesses.