The marine environment in the Arafura and Timor Seas (ATS) region is in serious decline, primarily as a result of over harvesting and other direct and indirect impacts of anthropogenic (environmental pollution caused by human activity) stresses and global climate change. The region is adjacent to the Coral Triangle which hosts the world’s highest marine biodiversity and contains some of the most pristine and highly threatened coastal and marine ecosystem.
ATS habitants are diverse, having 25% of the worldwide mangroves and 90% of mangrove tree species, marine turtles such as hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) and leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), cetaceans, dugongs, sharks and rays. Many of these marine species are threatened by a combination of overfishing and loss of habitat, underscoring the urgent need for collective regional action and transboundary management and shared fish stocks, critical habitats and marine megafauna.
ATSEA-2 Programme is a regional partnership involving four littoral countries: Indonesian Government, Timor Leste and Papua New Guinea by the support of Australian Government in order to collectively manage high marine and fisheries resources in Arafura and Timor Seas (ATS). The ATSEA-2 Programme started on 2019 that aim to promote sustainable development in Arafura and Timor Seas (ATS) region to improve inhabitant’s quality of life through restoration, conservation and sustainable management of marine-coastal ecosystem as one of the area with highest productivity in Indonesia to ensure the implementation of integrated concept, sustainable, and prosperity of the coastal people in transboundary area.
The ATSEA-2 Project will specifically focus on supporting the implementation of the endorsed strategic action program (SAP). Our commitment is to contribute on:
· a functioning regional governance mechanism
· approximately 125 km of coastline under integrated coastal management
· up to 25% of over-exploited fisheries in the region moved to more sustainable levels
· improved scientific knowledge regarding climate change impacts on ATS
· ecosystem approach to fisheries management, and improved fisheries management of red snapper, shrimp and barramundi fisheries
· design and designation of two new marine protected areas (MPAs): off coast of Papua province and south coast of Timor-Leste
· design of a regional MPA network and regional action plan on enhanced protection of endangered marine turtles
ATSEA-2 is a Global Environment Facility (GEF) funded programme and managed under United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF) as implementing partner.