Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI)

CTI DSC 6548
DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu (4th from left) and DENR Undersecretary Jonas Leones (rightmost) link arms with CT6 environmental ministers at the 7th CTI CFF Ministerial Meeting held in Makati City, Philippines on 15 December 2018. [BMB]

The Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries and Food Security (CTICFF) is a multilateral partnership of six countries (Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste also known as the "CT6") formed in 2007 to address the urgent threats facing the coastal and marine resources of one of the most biologically diverse and ecologically rich regions on earth.

A priority seascape of the CTI-CFF in the northern part of the Coral Triangle is the Sulu-Sulawesi Seascape, formerly known as the Sulu-Sulawesi Marine Eco-region.
Focal Office:
Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB)
Formally launched May 15, 2009
Focal Persons:
Secretary, DENR
Tel. No. (632) 926 3011, 920 4301, 929 6626 loc 2258

Chief, Coastal and Marine Division, DENR-BMB
Tel. No. (632) 924 6031 to 35 local 207, (632) 925 8948

Senior Ecosystems Management Specialist, Coastal and Marine Division, DENR- BMB
Tel. No. (632) 920 4417, 925 89 48
The CTI National Plan of Action is aligned with the Regional Plan of Action (RPoA) which has five goals:
1) Effective management of Designated Priority Seascapes
2) Full application of Ecosystem Approach to Management of Fisheries (EAFM) and other marine resources
3) Establishment and effective management of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs)
4) Achievement of climate change adaptation measures 
5) Improvement in threatened species status
Policy Issuances:
Executive Order No. 797, s. 2009 - Adopting the Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI) national plan of action 
DENR Administrative Order No. 2013-12 - Guidelines for the Implementation of the Sustainable Coral Reef Ecosystems Management Program (SCREMP) 
DENR Administrative Order No. 2007-17 - Rules and Regulations Governing Special Uses Within Protected Areas
Republic Act No. 11038 Expanded National Integrated Protected Areas System (E-NIPAS) Act of 2018. This includes the Turtle Islands Wildlife Sanctuary in Tawi-Tawi as one of the legally gazetted protected areas in the country.
Executive Order No. 154 s. 2013 Creation of Philippine Committee on IUUF Executive Order No. 533 s. 2006 Adopting Integrated Coastal Management DA Special Order No. 1117 s. 2018 Reconstitution of National Tuna Industry Council (NTIC) amending Special Order No. 659, series of 2000
BMB Technical Bulletin 2017-14 Guidelines on the Application of Integrated Coastal Management (ICM) as the Overarching Strategy in the Implementation of the Coastal and Marine Ecosystems Management Program (CMEMP) DENR Administrative Order 2016-26 Implementation of Coastal and Marine Ecosystems Management Program
Sources / Relevant Links:


Designated and Effective Management of Priority Seascapes
Three manuals were published by the Sector Network Natural Resources and Rural Development Asia (SNRD Asia & Pacific) in cooperation with the BMB's Wildlife Resource Division in December 2016 for the Philippine Aquatic Wildlife Rescue and Response MANUAL Series. They were on (1) Sharks and Rays, (2) Marine Turtles, and (3) Marine Mammal. This is under the Sulu-Sulawesi Marine Ecoregion (SSME) Comprehensive Action Plan for Threatened, Charismatic, and Migratory Species.
Meanwhile, the Sulu-Sulawesi Seascape Project began in October 2012 and concluded in December 2018. Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Conservation International, the partner NGO, were given grants to support the implementation of the components of the SSME Comprehensive Action Plan (SSMECAP). As a result of this project, the Philippine part of the transboundary MPA network for marine turtles was successfully established. Also, national fisheries laws for MPAs were updated and made stricter.
The project also facilitated scientific research on the biology and ecology of marine turtles in the Sulu-Sulawesi Seascape focusing on migratory patterns to reduce bycatch and illegal fishing. In addition, it identified potential areas for expanding the conservation area network. Targeted studies on the status of the Napoleon wrasse and sharks and rays in the Philippines led to the introduction of national action plans that contain policy recommendations as well as management measures. A number of regional discussion forums on different topics served as a platform to share knowledge and experiences. In addition, managers of marine protected areas and governmental employees received training in developing strategies for sustainable tourism strategies.
Initial planning for Seascape Implementation was also conducted for the development of West Philippine Seascape and North Philippine Seascape.
Full Application of Ecosystem Approach to Management of Fisheries (EAFM) and other Marine Resources
The National Stock Assessment Program is continuously being implemented along with resource and habitat assessment and fisheries profiling. A nationwide vulnerability and suitability assessment for capture and aquaculture fisheries was also conducted.
Through Executive Order No. 154, the Philippine Committee on Illegal, Unregulated, and Unreported Fishing (IUUF) was created. The National/Regional Law Enforcement Council (NALEC/RLEC) strengthens law enforcement on the coastal waters in the Philippines. Continuous conduct of IEC activities such as summits/conferences focusing on highly valued commodities i.e., sardines, tuna, shrimp, milkfish, tilapia, etc. are also held in support of this goal.
Moreover, fishing gear regulation on municipal waters is currently being implemented and management plans on tuna and sardines have already been developed.
Still under EAFM, the Tuna Traceability System is under development and is now in its initial phase of developing the application/database. A baseline Assessment of a Napoleon Wrasse in Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park and Napoleon Wrasse Non-Detrimental Findings study in Tawi-Tawi were also completed with management recommendations. Seasonal Fishing Closures are also being done in Northern Palawan, Davao Gulf, Visayan Sea, Zamboanga, and Balayan Bay.
An Electronic Catch Documentation and Traceability and Small Scale Catch Documentation is also being developed. The National Tuna Industry Council was also reconstructed, amending Special Order No. 659, series of 2000 through Special Order No. 1117 series of 2018. Value chain analysis on tuna, sardines and ornamental fishes and assessments on reef-based ornamentals were also conducted by the National CTI Coordinating Committee (NCCC).
Establishment and Effective Management of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs)
One of the milestones of the Philippines is the legislation of additional 10 MPAs under RA 11038 (bringing the total to 33). Currently, the Philippines has 73 nationally-managed MPAs and 1,816 locally managed MPAs covering 1.4% of the country's total sea area. In addition, the Coastal and Marine Ecosystems Management Program is also fully implemented which includes the following activities: habitat assessment for NIPAS MPA, MPA Networking Technical Assistance for LGUs, support to 25 marine protected area networks and about 200 biodiversity-friendly enterprises, and the inclusion of ocean acidification baseline study in selected NIPAS MPAs.
Coastal stability assessment, mapping, impact monitoring, resiliency studies and updating of coral reef baseline data in the West Philippine Sea and Philippine Rise were also conducted.
Moreover, a two million hectare MPA in North East of Palawan was established, the MPA management plan of Davao Gulf was approved and the Seven Line MPA was established in Southern Palawan.
For the Verde Island Passage (VIP), a Management Board was already established and its second Management Board meeting was conducted on 14 February 2019. Within the VIP, an MPA and MPA network were also established in five provinces. Two MPA networks were also recognized because of their effective management, namely, Oriental Mindoro as the Marine Support Network (MSN) Best MPA Network and the Batangas MPA network as an MSN Hall of Famer.
The joint management of the Turtle Islands Heritage Protected Area has also resumed, a Marine Enforcement Manual was developed in Davao Gulf, and modules were completed for the MPA Capacity Building Training for Mentors.
Achievement of Climate Change Adaptation Measures
On the goal on Climate Change, the Commission Resolution on Climate Risk Management Framework with the Academe, CSOs, LGUs and NGAs was developed. Climate Change Action in Ecosystem Based Adaptation Planning is also being mainstreamed. The 2nd National Convention on Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction was conducted. On Blue Carbon, a National Blue Carbon TWG (NBCTWG) was created to draft a roadmap for the management of the blue carbon ecosystem.
Still under the same goal, an on-going VIP Mangrove Rehabilitation is being conducted which includes activities focusing on research, a mangrove MPA and nursery establishment, policy and outreach, and sustainable financing. Carbon Stock Assessments were also conducted to identify blue carbon management sites.
In addition, a vulnerability assessment and climate change adaptation planning workshop was held in Davao Gulf, coastal resilience for disaster risk management and climate change is promoted, a BFAR Climate Change Strategic Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and Management is being drafted, and a nationwide vulnerability and suitability assessment for capture and aquaculture fisheries was conducted.
Improvement in Threatened Species Status
A National Plan of Action (NPOA) for Marine Turtles and Dugong is nearing completion and the Marine Turtle tagging database is continuously being updated. A Protect Wildlife project is being conducted in Palawan and in Tawi-Tawi where local communities have been trained on behavioral change towards biodiversity, universities trained in developing research and conservation curricula, and the local government trained in combating wildlife and environmental crime. Policy was reviewed and being developed to combat wildlife crimes.
A cetacean study in Davao Gulf and research on Napoleon wrasse was also conducted and the Wildlife Communications and Coordination Protocols for the Marine Turtle Protected Area Network were developed.
Still under the goal on threatened species, the Sharks and Napoleon Wrasse Country Status Report with NPOA were also published and disseminated. Fisheries Administrative Order 233 or the Aquatic Wildlife Conservation is in full implementation and a red listing of Philippine Aquatic Species is on-going.
This Page was updated on 16 December 2019 and will be updated on 10 December 2020
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