The Coral Triangle is one of the world’s most important natural habitats. It covers close on 6 million square kilometres of land and sea alongside several countries including Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. The reef provides sustenance for over 120 million people and the animal life that lives along these shores.
Dr Pet-Soede, Head of the Coral Triangle Programme at WWF, explained that the demands driven by the human population were endangering the natural balance. She warned “If this level of unsustainable consumption is not urgently curbed, millions of people whose lives directly depend on the sea will soon be compromised.”
WWF have considered The Coral Triangle area a top priority on its list of areas for marine conservation. Dramatic population growth and economic development have boosted demand for expensive marine resources such as tuna and live reef fish. Threats to the region include climate change, reduction in resources, destructive fishing methods and overfishing. Contributing to the over exploitation of coral reefs through increased fishing pressure is the growing population and poverty across South East Asia.
Two photographers were commissioned by WWF to capture and bring to life the incredible beauty and underwater magic that this seaside paradise has to offer. Husband and wife team, Jurgen Freund and Stella Chiu-Freund returned home at the end of 2010, after an 18 month period in Timor Leste. The goal of the project is to show people what WWF is working on and who they are working with to conserve the ocean and preserve it’s life. The project is focused on how the human population and the world’s wildlife are interconnected.
The book combines a collection of photography and essays written by various conservation experts exploring positive elements of the Coral Triangle looking at biodiversity together with features of the local fishermen and their seaside communities shown so that readers may understand their complete dependence on their habitat.
Author: Jacqueline Freer
For Green College Online