Food security and the Coral Triangle Initiative
The Asia-Pacific's Coral Triangle is defined by its extremely high marine biodiversity. Over one hundred million people living in its coastal zones use this biodiversity to support their livelihoods. Hundreds of millions more derive nutritious food directly from the region0s marine resources and through local, regional and global trade. Biodiversity and its values to society are threatened by demographic and habitat change, rising demand, intensive harvesting and climate change. In partnership with international conservation organisations and development funders, the governments of the region0s six countries have come together to develop the Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI) on Coral Reefs, Fisheries and Food Security. The CTI has explicit goals and defined targets for marine biodiversity conservation, but not for the food security of the region0s marine-resource dependent people, despite this being the wider aim used to justify conservation action. This article suggests how the food security aim of the CTI could be made more explicit. It outlines the complex pathways linking marine biodiversity with food security and argues that improved social science analysis, inter-sectoral policy and management interactions are necessary if conserving marine biodiversity is to contribute towards meeting food security challenges in the region.