30 Sep CTC Supports the Development of a Marine Protected Area Network and Sea Turtle Action Plan in the Arafura-Timor Sea

This year, CTC became one of the implementing partners of the second phase of the Arafura & Timor Seas Ecosystem Action Program (ATSEA-2), a regional partnership that aims to address the most important transboundary marine issues facing the region.

CTC, in collaboration with a team of experts, will provide technical support to the ATSEA-2 project to facilitate the development of a marine protected area network design and sea turtle action plan to protect priority coastal and marine habitats and conserve protected species.

CTC’s key activities, implemented in collaboration with partners such as Yayasan Konservasi Alam Nusantara, include identifying key habitats in the region, including coral reef, seagrass, and mangrove ecosystems, and locate priority areas for conservation. This will be used to support the design of a resilient network of MPAs from the Lesser Sunda region to the south coast of Timor-Leste, southeast Aru Islands in Indonesia, and over to Kolepon Island, located at the far eastern reaches of the Arafura Sea, near Merauke.

ATSEA-2 sets out to achieve a variety of aims and objectives towards the conservation of ecosystem biodiversity and the integrated, sustainable management of resources. Its main objectives include supporting the recovery of sustainable fisheries and restoring degraded habitats, creating healthy and functioning natural ecosystems, protecting key marine species, reducing land-based and marine pollution at the source, and mitigating the effects of climate change through adaptation.

It involves the governments of Indonesia, Timor-Leste and Papua New Guinea, with the support of the Australian government and is supported by the Global Environment Facility, the United Nations Development Programme and the Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA).

The Arafura-Timor Sea (ATS) region hosts an immense diversity of coral reef species. Around 523 species of corals, including 11 endemic species, have been recorded in the Lesser Sunda Marine Ecoregion, which partially overlaps with the ATS region. However, much of the marine life in ATS is under threat from a combination of overfishing, loss of habitat and the impacts of climate change. This underlines the urgent need for collective regional action and transboundary management of economically important fish species, critical habitats and marine megafauna.

Read here for more about ATSEA-2.


Photo credit by Robert Delf

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