A new online platform, www.thecoraltriangle.com, brings the world’s center of marine biodiversity—the Coral Triangle—closer to people.
When you consider just how significant coral is in populating the planet’s oceans, it’s surprising that the world’s richest reef system is still largely unknown to most people. Yet this is a bioregion that’s half the size of the United States, passes through six countries (Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Solomon Islands, and East Timor), and harbors more marine species than anywhere else on the planet. There are single reefs here that contain more species than the entire Caribbean. When it comes to abundance and sheer scale, nothing comes close to the Coral Triangle.
With its impressive list of superlatives – 76% of all known coral types, more than 3000 species of fish, 6 out of 7 of the world’s turtle species – one might expect the Coral Triangle to have a higher profile than it currently enjoys. Take its land-based counterpart for example – a bioregion that is similarly rich in biodiversity, crosses the territories of nine countries, supports countless livelihoods and, like the Coral Triangle, is under grave threat. It’s called the Amazon.
Just as the Amazon is the figurehead of the world’s rainforests – the so-called lungs of the earth, the Coral Triangle deserves similarly iconic status as a marine treasure – the wellspring of the world’s oceans. This is the goal of the Coral Triangle Communications Platform (CTCP) – a dynamic online platform that will tell the story of this remarkable natural environment in a multitude of voices, engaging a global audience in a whole range of interactions aimed at keeping the Coral Triangle vibrant and alive. By building a global groundswell of support, we can protect this unique ecosystem and safeguard the livelihoods of the more than 100 million people that depend on it.
With its numerous natural attributes, globally significant fisheries status, growing stature as a tourist destination and exuberant mix of marine-based cultures, the Coral Triangle makes for fascinating subject matter. There are sharks that walk the ocean bed, marine nomads who spend their lives at sea, constant new species discoveries and incredible destinations waiting to be uncovered. And with the growing awareness of the crisis facing the world’s oceans – and more specifically coral reef ecosystems – the need to highlight the impacts of destructive fishing, pollution and climate change has never been keener.
So far, the story of the Coral Triangle has been told piecemeal. There have been some interesting documentaries, articles and photo essays, but in general the media profile has been low. Some information can be gleaned from the websites of the partner NGOs involved in the Coral Triangle Initiative, but this is often specialized, or specific to a particular area of work.
The CTCP is a dynamic, multi-strand online platform with a genuine global reach. A platform that not only draws significant web traffic, but provides channels by which users can engage. It hosts high quality media content relating to the bioregion including writing, photography and video. It also acts as a hub for campaigns, an educational tool for consumers and will soon include a tourism portal focusing on responsible travel opportunities throughout the Coral Triangle. Regular content comes from our Featured Contributors – not only professional photojournalists, writers, filmmakers, divers and scientists, but members of traditional communities too – the kinds of voices that seldom get heard.
The site is now live, with new and exciting features that will be added as it is officially launched on the Coral Triangle Day on 9 June. The Coral Triangle Day will take place simultaneously across varied locations around the Coral Triangle region in what will be the first of an annual Coral Triangle Day celebration.
The CTCP is an exciting new way to discover the Coral Triangle, whether you’re passionate about conservation or culture, diving or science, current affairs or travel to remote and beautiful places. Or if you simply love the ocean.
The CTCP is an independent organization, supported by the Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries and Food Security and its partner NGOs, and run by a team of journalists and communications professionals.
Visit www.thecoraltriangle.com today and learn more about this amazing place and how you can help.