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Cablegate: Major Outcomes of the Coral Triangle Initiative Senior

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SUBJECT: Major Outcomes of the Coral Triangle Initiative Senior
Officials Meeting in Malaysia

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SUMMARY: Senior officials from the six nations of the Coral Triangle
Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries and Food Security
(CTI-CFF)adopted the CTI regional governance structure at the fourth
Senior Officials Meeting (SOM4) held October 20-22 in Kota Kinabalu,
Malaysia. The meeting confirmed how the countries will collectively
preserve and manage the world's epicenter of marine biodiversity. At
the meeting of the Coordination Mechanism Working Group, the
officials determined the process for establishing a permanent
secretariat. The six countries also agreed to issue a joint CTI
statement elevating ocean and coastal concerns at the international
treaty negotiations on climate change this December in Copenhagen.
These major outcomes, among others, will be presented for
endorsement at Second Ministerial Meeting in Ghizo, the Solomon
Islands on November 18-19, 2009 including the location of the
permanent secretariat. END SUMMARY

The Coral Triangle Initiative

1. The "Coral Triangle" includes the Philippines, Malaysia,
Indonesia, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, and Papua New Guinea. This
5.7 million square km area of ocean and islands has the highest
marine biodiversity on earth. It provides livelihood for 120 million
people and food for many more. The area is threatened by over- and
destructive fishing, land- and sea-based pollution, and climate
change. The Leaders from the six Coral Triangle countries launched
the CTI and endorsed the implementation of the CTI Regional Plan of
Action (RPOA) at the May 2009 CTI Summit in Manado, Indonesia. The
CTI has made steady progress in finalizing their respective CTI
National Plans of Action (NPOA) and in mobilizing the National CTI
Coordination Committees (NCCs).

2. The US CTI Support Program (US CTI) builds on over a decade of
U.S.-investment in coastal resource management, fisheries and
marine-protected area work in the region. The US CTI is implemented
by a consortium of NGOs (World Wildlife Fund, Conservation
International and The Nature Conservancy), NOAA, and a USAID Program
Integrator contractor. USAID Regional Development Mission for Asia
(RDMA) provides overall management of the program, in coordination
with U.S. Embassies and other USAID missions in the Philippines,
Indonesia, and Timor Leste, and the U.S. State Department.

Major Outcomes from the Fourth Senior Officials Meeting (SOM4)

3. The SOM4 reviewed and noted the progress of the CTI National
Plans of Actions from the six Coral Triangle countries, and
congratulated Malaysia on the official launch of their National Plan
of Action on October 20th. The SOM country delegations were led by
senior officials from Environment and Fisheries Ministries. RDMA
Environment Specialist Rene Acosta attended the SOM, along with
representatives from Asian Development Bank, the Government of
Australia, and several international nongovernment organizations.
Other major regional-level outcomes of the meeting are presented
below:

4. CTI Regional Governance Structure Confirmed. At the October
18-19 Coordination Mechanism Working Group meeting officials from
the six Coral Triangle governments and partner representatives
adopted the proposal for the governance structure of the CTI. The
Senior Officials will recommend the structure to the Ministers for
approval in November 2009, thereby confirming how the countries will
collectively preserve and manage the world's epicenter of marine
biodiversity.

5. Proposals Developed for Location of Permanent Secretariat. The
Coordination Mechanisms Working Group (chaired by Indonesia) invited
a specialist supported by Australia to finalize proposals for the
location and structure of the permanent CTI Regional Secretariat
(with two countries reaffirming their interest to host -- Indonesia
and the Philippines). The Working Group will present the proposals
at the next SOM and for approval at the Ministerial meeting in
November 2009.

BANGKOK 00002777 002 OF 002

6. Financial Resources Group to Develop Long-Term Financing
Strategy. The Financial Resources Working Group (chaired by
Indonesia) will reconvene with invited experts and counterparts from
ASEAN to develop a mid-term and long-term sustainable financing
strategy for the CTI.

7. Monitoring and Evaluation Working Group Prepare Draft Indicators.
The Monitoring and Evaluation Working Group (chaired by the
Philippines) presented a framework to measure CTI success which the
SOM will review for adoption at the Ministerial Meeting.

8. SOM Defines CTI Role in Upcoming UN Climate Change Talks. The SOM
agreed to issue a joint statement on ocean and coastal concerns for
the upcoming UNFCCC in Copenhagen in December 2009. They also
recommended that the Ministers present a joint communiqu at "Ocean
Day" on December 14 in Copenhagen that defines the CTI Regional Plan
of Action as their primary instrument for addressing adaptation to
climate change. The senior officials asked their delegates to work
with experts and partners to produce a draft of the formal
communiqu to be distributed for consideration before the
Ministerial Meeting in November.

9. SOM Adopts CTI Partner Regional Work Plans. The SOM adopted the
2010 regional work plans presented by the Asian Development Bank,
Australia, and the US CTI Support Program subject to the approval of
the respective National Coordination Committees. The SOM requested
partners to submit concepts with indicative programs and budgets in
advance for adoption at future SOMs, and to submit periodic status
reports. The US CTI Support Program held bilateral discussions with
all six CT country delegations to review its 2010 regional work plan
and to establish operational and coordination linkages in-country.

Heads Up: Ministerial Meeting in November

10. The SOM agreed to meet in Honiara, Solomon Islands on November
16-17, just prior to the Second CTI Ministerial Meeting on November
18-19 planned to be held in Ghizo, the Solomon Islands. The next SOM
will finalize recommendations for the location of the CTI permanent
Regional Secretariat and its organizational structure, review
reports from all three working groups (Coordination Mechanisms,
Financial Resources, and Monitoring and Evaluation), prepare
recommendations on those issues for the Ministerial Meeting, and
review the climate change communiqu for Ocean Day.

11. The Ministerial Meeting will hear reports and recommendations
from the SOM on operational issues and on the implementation of the
Regional and National Plans of Actions. The Ministers will decide on
the location and structure of the Regional Secretariat, adopt the
Joint Communiqu on Climate Change, conduct a Partners Dialogue and
approve the 2010 CTI Implementation Roadmap. In addition to the
regular meetings of the CTI bodies, the 2010 CTI Regional
Implementation Roadmap includes a CTI Business Summit in Manila in
January 2010 (hosted by the Philippines) to kick-off private sector
engagement in the CTI.
JOHN

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