First Papua New Guinean to take part in Regional Coral Triangle Network Officer Program

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By Geraldine Kalabai – EMTV Online

Papua New Guinea for the first time since becoming a member of the Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries, and Food Security (CTI-CFF) in 2009, is sending 28 years-old Marine Program Officer with The Conservation and Environment Protection Authority (CEPA), Phelameya Haiveta for the Regional Coral Triangle Network Officer Program.

Ms. Haiveta commenced in CEPA as Scientific Officer in July 2015 and has been coordinating the CEPA Plastic Coastal Clean-up Campaign which is also assisting the work of the Marine Protected Areas and Coral Triangle Initiative Secretariat in the country. She is familiar with the provisions of the Environment Act and Protected Areas Policy and existing national efforts as PNG is currently the CTI CFF Chair for the Threatened Species Working Group.

With a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology (Marine) obtained from the University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG) and a Certificate IV in Leadership and Governance from the PNG Institute of Public Administration, Haiveta has been actively involved in implementing the PNG Marine program and has been attending various trainings and workshops organized by the CTI Regional Secretariat, hence she is well versed with the contents of the Regional Plan of Action for the Coral Triangle Fisheries and Food Security.

“Papua New Guinea has been a member since the Agreement was first signed. And I am privileged to be here as the first Papua New Guinean to take part in the Regional Coral Triangle Network Officer Program which officially begins today,” said Haiveta.

Each country has sent one participant, and at the end of this it is hoped that they;

• Gain hands-on professional experience and improved confidence in working for an intergovernmental/international Organisation in various aspects.
• Develop new and improved skills
• Achieve enhanced regional collaboration to address important regional problems
• Lead effective, highly participatory multi-stakeholder alliances when they return to their respective countries.

This is an opportunity for PNG Government and CEPA to upskill its human resource capacity, which is in turn, a huge benefit to the country.

At the Leader’s Summit in 2009, these Governments agreed to adopt a 10-year CTI-CFF Regional Plan of Action (CTI RPOA) to safeguard the region’s marine and coastal biological resources. Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare was our PM at the time this agreement was adopted. Through the CTI-CFF, the Coral Triangle Member Parties have agreed to apply people-centered biodiversity conservation, sustainable development, poverty reduction, and equitable benefit sharing.

Recognizing the critical need to safeguard the region’s marine and coastal resources, in 2009, then Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono inspired other leaders in the region to launch the Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries and Food Security (CTI-CFF) through the signing of the Leaders Declaration.

The Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries, and Food Security (CTI-CFF) is a multilateral partnership of six countries working together to sustain extraordinary marine and coastal resources by addressing crucial issues such as food security, climate change, and marine biodiversity.

CTI-CFF Implementation Area – Photo courtesy of Australian Department of Environment and Energy

It is the first multilateral cooperation of its kind that focuses on food security through sustainable management of marine natural resources taking into consideration climate change impacts. The CTI-CFF was formed in 2009 and member states include; Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste (the ‘CT6’) representing the custodians of the Coral Triangle area.

The CTI-CFF seeks to address both poverty reduction through economic development, food security, sustainable livelihoods for coastal communities and biodiversity conservation through the protection of species, habitats, and ecosystems.

Despite their significant value, the coral reef ecosystems of the Coral Triangle are among the most threatened in the world.
Approximately 95% are at risk; overfishing has affected almost every reef in the region, destructive fishing practices are common, land-based pollution is significant, and coastal development is a growing threat.

Pictures Courtesy of Phelameya Haiveta