CONCEPT NOTE - Global Environment Facility

GEF Focal Area:
Project Title:
Requesting Agency:
Estimated Project Cost:
Financing Plan (tentative):
Project Duration:
Preparation Costs:
PDF Block B Funds Requested:
PDF Co-Funding:
Philippines, Indonesia
Marine Aquarium Market Transformation Initiative
IFC (World Bank)
$10-12 million
$3-6 GEF. The balance to be raised by partnering
institutions, including (potentially) the following:
∙ Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
∙ John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
∙ David and Lucile Packard Foundation
∙ Private Investors
∙ Private Philanthropists
∙ Multi-National Corporations
5 Years
Marine Aquarium Council
Conservation and Community Investment Forum
Reef Check
Project Objective
The objective of the Marine Aquarium Market Transformation Initiative (MAMTI) is to convert the
marine aquarium industry into a trade based on marine conservation, sustainable use, and sustainable
livelihoods that contributes to poverty alleviation and food security. This proposal directly supports the
GEF’s emerging strategic priorities by mainstreaming biodiversity conservation in the marine aquarium
Global Benefits
MAMTI will provide the following global benefits:
(a) Transform a major portion of a previously destructive industry by implementing industry and marketdriven certification that codifies, requires and rewards responsible fishing and best practice.
(b) Convert a significant portion of the marine ornamentals industry into a vehicle that provides
incentives for reef conservation, sustainable livelihoods and poverty alleviation in developing
(c) Create of one of the world's largest networks of coral reef management areas, including fisheries
sanctuaries/"no take" zones (i.e. Marine Protected Areas) among the coral reefs of Indonesia and the
Philippines, which support the highest global diversity.
(d) Link many local rural fishermen’s cooperatives in the Philippines and Indonesia to the international
marketplace in the interest of conservation and sustainable use.
(e) Catalyze sufficient market forces so that additional industry players will be compelled to adopt,
sustain, and replicate ecologically and socially responsible practices beyond the life of the project.
(f) Establish a market transformation model that can be replicated in conjunction with other fishingrelated industries (such as the live food fish trade or the artisanal tuna fisheries) to make them as
compatible as possible with sustainable development.
(g) Significantly improve the health and safety of collectors who are currently routinely exposed to
cyanide and engaged in highly unsafe diving practices.
Expected Outcomes
MAMTI will aim to achieve the following outcomes:
By the end of this project, at least 30% of the marine aquarium trade will consist of fish harvested in a
sustainable manner that conserves biodiversity.1
The project will establish dozens of Marine Management Areas (areas that will include Reef
Enhancement Zones). These zones will be managed by the local community and fishermen's groups
to their own benefit, approved and regulated by the local and national governments, and providing an
ecologically sound and economically sustainable solution to the present coral reef crisis.
The project will greatly increase consumer awareness about the benefits of marine ornamentals that
are harvested in a sustainable manner which conserves biodiversity (as opposed to the current
At present, less than 1% of industry supply is harvested in a sustainable manner that conserves biodiversity.
practices). As a result of the project, a significant percentage of consumers will prefer – and even be
willing to pay a premium for – marine ornamentals that are harvested via non-destructive methods
from sustainably managed reefs.
Global Significance
Southeast Asia is the global center of marine diversity. It contains more than one third of all the world’s
coral reefs, and houses over 600 of the 800 reef-building coral species in the world. A greater variety of
species exist on a single island in this region than on all the coral reefs in the Caribbean. Indonesia and
the Philippines together hold 77% of the region’s coral reefs, including the majority of South East Asia’s
best-preserved reefs. These reefs of the Wallacea Bio-Region have been identified by the major
conservation NGOs (TNC, WWF, WRI and CI) as a global priority conservation area.
The 24,000+ islands in Indonesia and the Philippines make up the world’s largest archipelago, home to
about 17% of the total number of species in the world, including 25% of the world’s fish species. These
countries contain over 100,000 square km of coral reefs or about 25% of the world’s total. Indonesia has
nearly 81,000 km of coastline and its vast oceans extend over nearly 6 million square kilometers. All of
the world’s 15 families of reef-building corals are represented here, with a total of 80 genera and 452
species. These high diversity reefs serve as a reproductive reservoir for seeding other areas throughout the
region due to circulating and seasonally changing currents. Because of upwelling of relatively cool
waters from the south, the area is also somewhat protected from bleaching events, which have damaged
so many reefs around the world.
Baseline Threats - Destructive Fishing and Overfishing
The coastal areas of the Philippines and Indonesia are some of the most heavily populated in the world.
With rapid population growth rates, the pressure on coastal resources is exceedingly high, with every
member of each family often involved in resource extraction of some type. The pressures have now
reached unsustainable levels.
The principal threats to the region's coral reefs are destructive fishing and overfishing. The recent Reef
Check report, “The Global Coral Reef Crisis”, documents how destructive fishing and over fishing have
led to ecological destabilization and are even pushing some high-value reef organisms to the brink of
The most destructive techniques include:
Blast fishing – the use of primitive bombs for food fishing, largely for subsistence consumption and
domestic markets
Poison fishing – the use of sodium cyanide to capture marine ornamental (aquarium) fish as well as
live food fish (primarily for Chinese restaurants)
The results of destructive coastal fishing have been devastating. Almost 90 percent of the coral reefs in
the Philippines and Indonesia (as well as Cambodia, Singapore, Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia and China)
are degraded or threatened. Fish larger than a few centimeters in length have become rare on most reefs.
Indonesia and the Philippines together hold nearly 80 percent of all the threatened reefs in the region.
When coral reefs are protected, the recovery of reef fish and shellfish populations can be dramatic and
rapid. But when the living coral reef itself has been destroyed, siltation often becomes a problem,
preventing the settlement and growth of young corals. In this case, the recovery of reefs is a decades-long
process at best.
Barriers to Aquarium Fishing Industry Reform
The aquarium fishing industry currently is at best a neutral, and at worst a destructive force, in relation to
the coral reefs of Indonesia and the Philippines. As a highly valued employer and income provider for
coastal communities, a responsible industry could provide a powerful incentive to conserve coral reefs so
that they could continue to serve as a sustainable source of community livelihoods in perpetuity. Indeed,
if the marine aquarium industry could be shifted to reward responsible behavior, then fishermen would
seek to protect reefs from all threats (e.g., blast fishing, etc). However, a series of barriers have prevented
(1) “Open access” fisheries do not provide incentives for conservation. The “open access” fisheries
of the Philippines and Indonesia have made it profitable for “roaming” aquarium fishing crews to
collect on reefs outside their own communities. For these collectors, often far from home, using
cyanide to stun fish is an efficient method to collect the most highly priced species, regardless of the
deadly consequences for nearby corals, fish, and other reef organisms. With “their” coral reefs thus
under siege, the local collectors perceive little value in doing anything else but to follow suit.
(2) Decentralized industry structure inhibits efforts to produce sustainably. The structure of the
marine ornamental industry is highly decentralized – with the major importers and customers located
in the US, Europe and Japan. While awareness among customers and the industry about the potential
destructive impacts of the fishery has been growing, most feel they have little influence on how the
fish are collected. Although importers, retailers and consumers are unified in their opposition to the
use of cyanide (mortality of poison-caught fish is high, fish quality is often very low), most importers
simply do not have the financial resources or overseas capacity and experience to build the fully
integrated operations they would need to ensure that the fish are collected using non-destructive
(3) There are limited opportunities and capacities for collectors to become certified. The thousands
of village-based collectors in Indonesia and the Philippines are at the interface between the marine
aquarium industry and coral reefs. Their actions determine the difference between sustainable reef
resource use and coral reef degradation. Unfortunately, there are no comprehensive programs to
inform and train fishers in environmentally sound collection practices that can be certified, creating
the need for capacity building for collectors. After 20 years of reef conservation demonstration
projects, replication has not happened at the scale needed to reverse the downward trend in coral reef
degradation. The status quo will be continued decline.
(4) There is little community-level stakeholder capacity and experience to develop certified
ecosystem management for collection areas. Developing and implementing scientifically based
ecosystem management plans for marine ornamental collection areas is a requirement for certification
and is a key part of achieving the desired conservation benefits. Not many examples of ecosystem
management for coral reef fisheries exist and government resources for this are limited in Indonesia
and the Philippines. There is a need to develop options for ecosystem management of aquarium
fishery areas and the capacity to implement the management plans through partnerships of NGOs,
Blacklisting Indonesian and Philippine fish is an option being considered by some groups in the United States and
European Community; however, collectively, these two countries provide the great majority of the world’s reef fish,
and a great many species of interest to the market do not exist anywhere else. Most importantly, banning the trade
would eliminate its potential to create sustainable livelihoods based on responsible fisheries and contribute to
poverty alleviation in the rural coastal villages of these countries. If exports are formally banned, all control of the
ensuing underground economy would be lost, and a chance to use this industry as a stimulus for reef conservation
and rehabilitation will have been lost along with it.
collectors, fishing communities, and government agencies. Ultimately, governments throughout the
world can use these model plans to manage their coral reef “commons.”
(5) There is an absence of scientific baseline assessment and monitoring of collection areas. Most
coral reefs used for fishing have never been monitored to determine what level of fishery of any kind
they can support. Baseline assessment and ongoing monitoring of the collection areas and target
species is required to ensure that the level of harvest is sustainable and that conservation benefits are
being achieved. This information needs to feed back into the management of the areas, e.g. for
improved selection of no take sanctuaries, and for developing catch limits.
(6) Lack of access to investment funding for aquarium industry businesses in developing countries
to undertake transformation to sustainable certified practices. Many aquarium industry
operations would like to upgrade facilities to improve animal husbandry and reduce animal mortality.
Appropriate investment opportunities are not readily known or accessible for this in Indonesia or the
Philippines. There are no investment mechanisms readily available to support industry conversion to
sustainable practices.
(7) Lack of consumer awareness about the benefits of harvesting marine ornamentals via cyanidefree, net-based methods from sustainably managed reefs. Market studies indicate that most
consumers would prefer to purchase marine ornamentals that have been harvested via non-destructive
methods once they learn about the benefits. However, much work needs to be done to increase
consumer awareness.
(8) Inability of consumers to distinguish between marine ornamentals caught with destructive
practices from those caught without destructive practices. At present, many pet store owners
claim that their marine ornamentals were caught via sustainable practices. In a few cases, these
claims are true, but mostly they are false. Consumers, however, have no way of knowing which
claims are true. As a result, there is little incentive for pet shop owners to genuinely source marine
ornamentals harvested via non-destructive practices. This is another reason why a credible, thirdparty certification system is needed.
MAC Core Standards
The MAC Core Standards outline the requirements for third-party certification of quality and
sustainability in the marine aquarium industry from reef to retail. There are three MAC Core Standards
covering the “reef to retail” supply chain. These standards are fully consistent with GEF objectives
regarding the provision of globally-significant biodiversity conservation benefits.
The Ecosystem and Fishery Management (EFM) Core Standard addresses in-situ habitat, stock
and species management and conservation by verifying that the collection area is managed according
to principles consistent with the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries that ensure
ecosystem health and the sustainable use of the marine aquarium fishery.
The Collection, Fishing and Holding (CFH) Core Standard addresses harvesting of fish, coral, live
rock and other coral reef organisms, handling prior to export, holding, plus packaging and transport to
ensure the health of the collection area, sustainable use of the marine aquarium fishery and optimal
health of the harvested organisms.
The Handling, Husbandry and Transport Core Standard addresses the handling of marine life
during export, import and retail to ensure their optimal health, their segregation from uncertified
organisms and proper documentation to show that they pass only from one MAC Certified industry
operator to another.
The Core Standards are accompanied by Best Practice Guidance documents that provide advice to
industry operators on how they might be able to comply with the standards.
Need for a Public-Private Partnership
A public-private partnership is needed to solve the fundamental problems facing the marine environment
in the Philippines and Indonesia. In essence, an umbrella of government policies and regulations is
necessary to allow the private sector “engine” to push the train in the right direction. It is exactly this
combination of government and private sector collaboration that this project will facilitate. In the
Philippines, for example, cyanide and dynamite fishing have long been punishable by the death penalty.
However, a lack of enforcement combined with a lack of incentives to follow the law has led to a
dramatic and well documented (by Reef Check) decline in the health of the marine ecosystem. Over the
past few years, a number of demonstration projects have successfully shown that the tourism trade can be
used as an incentive to stop illegal destructive fishing. MPAs such as Gilutongan in Cebu are not only
ecologically successful but economically sustainable through user fees charged to tourists. But the
fundamental problem facing the Philippines, Indonesia and many other countries is that most reefs are not
found in tourist areas – therefore the tourism solution is not viable for the vast majority of these high
diversity reefs.
In contrast to the tourism industry, over 200 individual collection areas have been identified in the
Philippines and there are many more in Indonesia. In these locations, using the marine aquarium trade to
increase the value of the reef to fishermen in comparison to illegal and destructive uses provides a private
sector incentive to replicate coral reef management and MPA successes at hundreds of reefs.
It is the strong opinion of the project proponents that the only possibility to turn the tide of continuing reef
degradation is an approach that combines private sector incentives with government policy and
regulation. Luckily, in the Philippines, and to a lesser extent in Indonesia, the policy and regulations are
already in place. What has been lacking is a system of sustainable private sector incentives that
encourages and requires fishermen to comply with the regulations for their own benefit.
Although implementing certification and catalyzing market forces in support of a sustainable marine
aquarium trade may not alone be able solve all the basic underlying issues behind the negative aspects of
the marine aquarium industry, they will go a long way to addressing many of the most fundamental
issues. Key among these issues is the incentive for responsible behavior. Certification creates
requirements and market pressures and incentives to perform responsibly. Providing capital to help the
industry finance its conversion to sustainable principles will make it possible for industry to respond
quickly to these market pressures.
Inadequacy of Existing Regional and Global Mechanisms
It is unfortunate that existing regional and international mechanisms have very limited ability and
resources to enforce existing provisions. For example, all hard corals and "giant" clam species are listed
in Appendix 2 of CITES. There is much inconsistency in national capacity to enforce this. The MAC
Certification requirement for clear compliance with all national and international regulations is welcomed
by national governments and the CITES Secretariat. Indeed, for an international trade sector, there is no
better "regional and global mechanism" than having exporters and importers feel compelled to participate
in a system of independently verified standards.
Further, the certification fills an important gap by effectively creating policies and regulation of the trade
in wildlife that is not internationally agreed on as endangered. There are no regional and global
mechanisms to address the trade in coral reef fish and invertebrates (other than the CITES coral and clam
requirements). No marine aquarium fish are listed in CITES. MAC Certification requires the marine
aquarium industry to adhere to very detailed international best practice standards and report the number,
species and mortality of animals in trade. In addition, in partnership with the UNEP World Conservation
and Monitoring Centre, MAC has created the Global Marine Aquarium Database, which has quickly
become the most authoritative compilation of data for the trade in marine ornamentals. As a result, the
CITES Secretariat (and the international conservation community) supports and endorses the
development and implementation of certification for this trade and is in discussions with MAC on how to
expand this approach to other forms of wildlife trade.
In relation to global policies and regulations on trade, the MAC Standards have been developed according
to the WTO Agreement of Technical Barriers of Trade (TBT) and with ISO guidelines for standards
Project Description
A Strategic Combination of Supply-Side & Demand-Side Interventions
Three non-governmental organizations (NGOs) – the Marine Aquarium Council, the Conservation and
Community Investment Forum, and Reef Check – have combined forces to provide a strategic
combination of supply-side and demand-side interventions that will help to transform the aquarium
fishing industry into a vehicle of marine conservation, sustainable use and sustainable livelihoods that
contribute to poverty alleviation and food security3.
Supply-Side Interventions
A system of international standards, certification and labeling. The industry urgently needs a
mechanism to ensure the sustainability and responsibility of the entire marine ornamentals collection
and handling process, from the reef to retail. The Marine Aquarium Council (MAC) Certification
provides this assurance. In cooperation with major marine ornamental industry participants and other
stakeholders around the world, MAC has established a comprehensive set of certification standards
for the responsible collection, transportation, husbandry and tracking of marine ornamentals (fish,
corals and other reef invertebrates) and the management of reef areas used for collecting.
An investment vehicle to promote conversion to MAC-certified practices. The industry needs
capital to integrate its collection, export and import operations to the point where some control over
the supply chain is possible. In partnership with CoreResources, a San Francisco venture capital
fund, the Conservation and Community Investment Forum (CCIF) is able to provide the required
investment. With IFC co-financing, CCIF has developed the proposed Reef Product Alliance, a
professionally managed investment fund designed to provide the marine ornamental industry with the
capital required to finance the integration of its operations and achieve MAC Certification. In
addition, through its Denpassar, Bali, offices, CCIF is able to monitor the economic and technical
performance of Indonesian and Philippine collectors and exporters, thereby making it easier for
US/European importers to enter into local partnerships (which CCIF can then consider for financing).
A system to assess and monitor the health of coral reefs and stocks of aquarium species. To
create a critical mass of certified fish supply for import markets and to ensure that coastal
communities are able to sustainably manage their reef resources, Reef Check will assist fishermen to
implement Collection Area Management Plans that include Reef Enhancement Zones whereby
coastal communities designate their own Marine Protected Areas (i.e. fish sanctuaries/”no-take”
zones). Reef Check will also provide monitoring to ensure sustainable operations and to continuously
refine the science and management of marine ornamental collection. This is especially important
According to Jarle Harstad, GEF Senior Monitoring and Evaluation Coordinator, “One of the most crucial lessons
is the importance of ‘market-based thinking’ in designing effective market transformation programs.” GEF Lessons
Note #13.
because the industry needs a method, infrastructure and capacity to monitor the ecological health of
reefs and the stocks of targeted species. Reef Check is uniquely qualified to provide these services
because, as part of the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network, the organization trains teams of
volunteers in over 50 countries to monitor the health of coral reefs using standardized scientific
methods. Working with MAC, Reef Check has developed “MAQTRAC,” a complete set of methods
for coral reef health and stock assessment/monitoring designed specifically for the marine aquarium
Demand-Side Interventions
Marketing campaigns aimed at increasing consumer awareness about the benefits of MAC
certification. The partners are well aware of the need to address the demand side of the industry –
both at the wholesale and retail levels. They are working on a variety of mechanisms to inform
consumers in the US and Europe about the certification program and to shift demand from uncertified
to certified products. However, as the proposed market transformation initiative shifts supply away
from cyanide-based practices and towards sustainable methods, these efforts will need to be scaled up
significantly. Therefore, additional funding will be sought to increase collaboration with the media
and other awareness raising partners. A communications strategy will be implemented to heighten
awareness of the reef-to-retail process, explain the need to certify the process, to encourage hobbyists
and retailers to seek sustainably-harvested marine ornamentals.
Project Activities
The project would carry out a range of activities to ensure that a major portion of the industry is
transformed into a principal driver of marine biodiversity conservation, sustainable use, sustainable
livelihoods, poverty alleviation and food security for coastal communities in Indonesia and the
Supply-Side Activities:
Establish the infrastructure and capacity among marine ornamentals collectors and communities in
the Philippines and Indonesia to achieve MAC Certification.
Build the capacity of the Philippines' Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), Indonesia's
Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (DKP), as well as the environment agencies, Local
Government Units (LGUs) and NGOs in both countries, to carry out the assessment, management
surveillance and enforcement of the marine aquarium trade in the Philippines and Indonesia.
Establish a comprehensive reef harvest monitoring system throughout the region and integrate the
monitoring results into improved management of the areas monitored.
Coordinate, train, and help capitalize a comprehensive network of certified collector’s cooperatives
throughout Indonesia and the Philippines (to create a critical mass of certified supply for import
Coordinate and help capitalize the integration of these collectives into major importer supply chains.
Develop comprehensive scientific fundamentals for managing collection areas for sustainability in the
Philippines and Indonesia.
Establish and implement Collection Area Management Plans that include Reef Enhancement Zones
whereby local fishermen and communities designate their own Marine Protected Areas (i.e. fish
sanctuaries/”no-take” zones) that increase reproduction of threatened coral reef species.
Demand-Side Activities:
Execute marketing and point-of-sales campaigns aimed at increasing awareness of consumers about
the benefits of MAC Certification.
Project Management
As the lead NGO, the Marine Aquarium Council will coordinate the overall project. All GEF funding
will run through this organization and will be allocated to the other NGO partners as appropriate. MAC
and the other NGO partners will receive guidance from an Advisory Committee comprised of multiple
stakeholders, including the marine ornamentals industry, major NGOs, scientists, resource management
experts, and representatives of the relevant government agencies in the Philippines and Indonesia.
The investment portion of the project will be managed by CCIF/Core Resources. CCIF/Core Resources
will coordinate with the other NGO partners and receive guidance from the Advisory Committee.
Specific investments will be reviewed and approved by an Investment Committee consisting of the
funders’ representatives and Core Resources’ general partners.
Stakeholder Involvement
MAC, Reef Check and CCIF have a very comprehensive interaction with stakeholders, for which the key
categories only were listed in the Concept Note. Appendix 1 lists the stakeholders that MAC interacts
with or has consulted with in Indonesia and the Philippines alone. There are many more stakeholders
with whom MAC interacts in other countries, as exemplified by the representation on the MAC Board of
Directors (Appendix 2).
Reef Check is a global partnership with community-based monitoring teams in over 50 countries. Dozens
of NGO, government, academic and corporate partners are involved in these teams which are listed on the
Reef Check website at In the Philippines and Indonesia, major partners include
WWF, Coastal Dynamics Foundation, USAID, UNEP, University of the Philippines, and Silliman
University. Many of these teams include local fishermen and divers.
National Level Support
Senior government officials from Indonesia and Philippines have been working with the project partners
over the past few years, and full support of the relevant government agencies is assured.4
Project Linkage to International Priorities and Programs
The Philippines ratified the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) on 8 October 1993 and provided
notification of participation in GEF on 16 June 1994. Indonesia ratified the CBD on 23 August 1994 and
has provided notification of participation in GEF. At the international level, the project complements and
implements regional and international initiatives in which Indonesia and the Philippines are participating,
such as the CBD Jakarta Mandate on Marine and Coastal Biodiversity, the International Coral Reef
Initiative (ICRI), the GEF Regional Program on the Prevention and Management of Marine Pollution in
East Asian Seas, SE Asia Regional Program of the IUCN World Commission on Parks and Protected
Areas (WCPPA) and the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries of the UN Food and Agriculture
Organization (UN FAO).
In addition, the relevant government agencies in the United States (i.e., largest importing nation) understand and
support the certification program.
Project Linkage to National Priorities, Action Plans, and Programs
The Government of Indonesia has identified coral reef ecosystems and improved coral reef management
as national priorities in the National Strategy and Action Plan for Coral Reef Ecosystem Conservation and
Management (Ministry of Environment, 1992), Sustainable Marine Program (1992), Indonesia
Biodiversity Action Plan (1993), and Indonesia Agenda 21 (1996). The project will support conservation
and management of globally important reefs identified in Indonesia’s Marine Conservation Atlas and the
World Bank/IUCN/GBRMPA Global Representative System of Marine Protected Areas.
In the Philippines, the project is consistent with the National Agenda for Sustainable Development for the
21st Century (Philippine Agenda 21), National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP), the
Fisheries Code of the Philippines and the National Marine Policy. The project also supports and
complements policies and programs of the national government. This includes Department of
Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) programs, such as the Coastal Environment Program and
National Integrated Protected Areas System, the Community-Based Coastal Resources Program, and the
Coastal Resources Management Training Program. This also includes the Bureau of Fisheries and
Aquatic Resources (BFAR) programs, such as the Fisheries Resource Management Program (FRMP)
supported by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The project is also consistent with
other externally supported projects addressing the sustainable development of coastal areas and marine
resources. These include: USAID projects (Coastal Resource Management Program, Growth with Equity
in Mindanao), GTZ projects (Visayan Sea Coastal Resources and Fishery Management), and AusAID
projects (Provincial Support Program).
Country Interest in Certification and Involvement with the Project Partners
Philippines: The Marine Aquarium Council, which will be registered in the Philippines by early
2003, has a Memorandum of Agreement with the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquaculture (BFAR) and is
in regular consultation with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and
marine conservation NGOs operating in the Philippines. MAC/RC/CCIF are in communication with
BFAR and DENR on this proposed project.
Indonesia: CCIF, RC and MAC interact regularly with the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries
(DKP), with whom MAC is developing an MOU, other relevant government agencies, and marine
conservation NGOs operating in Indonesia. CCIF is currently working with DKP on developing
sustainable financing plans for marine protected areas. MAC/RC/CCIF are in communication with
the DKP Director for Small Island Affairs, who chairs the inter-agency committee on marine
resources certification, and with Ministry of Environment, as well as the Director for Marine
Conservation, on this proposed project.
Institutional Coordination
MAMTI is complementary to the following programs and projects which are being supported by the
Asian Development Bank, UNDP, GEF, World Bank, Australian Agency for International Development,
Japan International Cooperation Agency, Philippines and Indonesian Governments, and other agencies.
The project partners will coordinate with the associated implementers/stakeholders, as appropriate, during
project formulation and implementation.
Fisheries Sector Program (FSP).
Fisheries Resource Management Project (FRMP).
Coastal Resources Management Project (CRMP). .
Coastal Conservation and Education Foundation (CCE Foundation).
Integrated Coastal Resources Management Project.
Coastal Environment Program.
National Integrated Protected Area Project (NIPAP).
Asian Conservation Corporation
Coral Reef Rehabilitation and Management Program (COREMAP). IFC and the project sponsors
have already begun to coordinate with the implementers of COREMAP. There are clearly synergies
between the two projects.
The full GEF proposal will contain a detailed description of how MAMTI meshes with the marine
conservation and management projects supported by GEF and others in these two countries. Reference
will also be made to coral reef conservation and management projects in other parts of the world that are
relevant to specific aspects of this project, e.g. the marine aquarium trade, marine market transformation,
and destructive fishing.
Financial Plan
A business plan has been developed that projects that the MAC Certification system will become selffinancing when 30% of the marine aquarium trade is participating. This is based on an industry (importer
and retailer) willingness and ability to pay fees and/or 2% of wholesale purchase value to MAC for the
goods and services that certification provided. This could be accomplished in the next 3-5 years, but two
types of initial support would be necessary to overcome high upfront costs and barriers:
Grant funding is required to enable CCIF, Reef Check, and MAC to coordinate, train, facilitate
certification, and monitor a comprehensive network of sustainable collection operations throughout
the Philippines and Indonesia. These operations will generate a critical mass of certified marine
ornamental exports that will enable US and European importers and airlines to make MAC
Certification a condition of purchase and transportation.
Investment capital is required to enable CCIF and its for-profit partner, CoreResources, to help
capitalize the industry’s efforts to integrate its supply chain and comply with MAC Standards. These
funds will be invested according to a capital preservation strategy. They are needed to purchase new
equipment for collection, transportation and husbandry, to modernize the supply chain management
infrastructure, and to install the required tracking software.
Rationale for GEF Involvement
Baseline vs. GEF Alternative
Baseline: Without GEF support, the aquarium fishing industry may continue to convert very slowly
to sustainable practices. Meanwhile, many reefs will be destroyed, fishermen's well-being reduced
and the opportunity to create sustainable communities lost. Beyond that, there is a serious risk that
the MAC Certification will not reach a critical mass, and therefore may ultimately fail.
GEF Alternative: The GEF Alternative constitutes a market acceleration initiative – i.e., it would
accelerate industry conversion to responsible practices that conserve biodiversity. Whereas the GEF
has previously financed successful initiatives to accelerate market penetration of solar photovoltaics
and energy-efficient technologies, in this case GEF would tailor and apply its market transformation
approaches to increase penetration of ecologically and socially responsible practices.5 Like any
market transformation initiative, GEF support will help to remove the existing barriers. In this case,
GEF support will help to remove the key barriers to mainstreaming certification in Indonesia and the
Philippines (and much of the U.S. market) so that the global benefits of certification implementation
can be realized.
Incremental Cost
Incrementality can be justified at five levels:
(1) The marine aquarium trade is a global trade that operates in almost all countries that have coral reefs.
Reducing the negative aspects of the trade and transforming the industry into one that achieves
conservation benefits requires a global program that can be applied in any and all countries where the
trade is operating. Because it deals with an international trade, the MAC Certification system has to
be an international initiative. MAC Certification is an integrated threat-minimization approach that is
needed to address the highly mobile use of resources. The basic premise being that these threats need
to be attacked comprehensively by addressing all of the key incentives that allow unsustainable
practices to continue, rather than solely at the site level. This new approach follows from a
realization that site-specific interventions merely succeed in displacing mobile threats to other (nonmanaged) sites. Thus, the potential cost-benefit ratio is much higher than isolated site management
and creates a much more powerful incentive than mere enforcement. However, there are incremental
costs associated with such a global initiative that would benefit from GEF support.
(2) There are substantial biodiversity costs associated with the current industry that are not captured in
trade revenues. Even though figures are not available for the aquarium trade, an economic analysis of
the cyanide use in food trade in Indonesia indicates a net loss to the global society of US$9,500 to
US$442,000 per square kilometer of reef. Since much of the aquarium trade occurs in relatively
remote richer reefs, there are substantial incremental global benefits associated with a control of the
(3) The MAC Certification system is designed to ultimately become self-financing, supported by industry
and consumer payments for certified aquarium products. GEF leveraging funds are needed to remove
barriers to achieving the critical mass of certified supply in the start up period.
(4) It is critical that the GEF provide capital for the investment component of this project because the
risk-return profiles of the investments – together with the lack of assured exits – prevent commercial
investors from being able to consider them. This proposal requires “green investment” or
“conservation-oriented venture philanthropy” – both of which are directly in line with the GEF’s
(5) MAC is an international organization with offices in many locations and deals with an international
trade active in over 50 countries. The proposal is not seeking support for MAC "core operations" but
to cover the incremental costs of mainstreaming certification and bringing it to scale at the level of
communities and fishers in two large developing countries. GEF funds will only be provided to
MAC for specific incremental services.
Co-Funding & Leverage
MAMTI will leverage maximum contributions for biodiversity conservation, sustainable development
and poverty alleviation. The three partnering NGOs will commit over $1,000,000 per year to this
According to Jarle Harstad, GEF Senior Monitoring and Evaluation Coordinator, “Market transformation programs
supported by the GEF have transformed national markets for energy-efficient products and, as importantly, have
frequently been sustainable.” GEF Lessons Note #13.
program. The private sector will match all investments by a significant factor. In the Philippines and
Indonesia, there is, and will be, significant cash and in-kind contributions to the implementation of the
certification from local governments and early adopters in the industry. In addition, there has been a
continuing interest from major U.S. foundations to provide matching funding for this project.
This project will be sustainable because:
The project will permanently transform a major portion of the marine ornamentals industry from a
destructive force into a force of rehabilitation, conservation and sustainable use. By increasing the
value of the reefs for the private sector, coastal dwellers will work to protect them. By providing
verified quality to the industry and market, buyers will begin to prefer certified products. When this
transformation has been achieved, the industry will conduct business according to these standards for
quality and reliability in ongoing operations.
The import and retail portion of the industry is willing to pay for the assurance of quality products
and sustainability of supply that MAC Certification provides. Market forces will be supporting reef
conservation and, when certification reaches sufficient scale, industry will be able to fully fund the
MAC Certification system for quality and responsibility as part of the functioning of a responsible
and monitored marine aquarium trade.
Investments will be structured to achieve, at a minimum, capital preservation (including an
adjustment for inflation). Capital will thus be continuously reinvested as loans are paid back and
equity investments are exited, ensuring that companies maintain and improve their commitment to
responsible, sustainable fisheries.
Recent ecological and economic successes using the tourism industry in the Philippines and Indonesia
as an incentive for coral reef conservation and rehabilitation have provided for some level of use.
Standardized scientific reef and fisheries assessments will be undertaken to ensure the level of
harvesting is sustainable and to help identify marine protected areas that will maintain the adjacent
The project will catalyze sufficient market forces so that additional industry players will be compelled
to adopt ecologically and socially responsible practices even beyond the life of the project.
MAMTI presents many replicable aspects:
Some aspects are likely to be replicated by market forces alone (i.e., because they make business
sense). For example, if fishing villages begin to make more money by adopting sustainable practices,
then neighboring villages will likely also adopt sustainable practices over time. Likewise, if export
and import companies profit by offering sustainably-harvested fish, then competitors may also follow
If this project’s investment vehicle is successful at overcoming the barriers (e.g., high upfront cost,
lack of financing) that hinder export and import companies from converting to sustainable practices,
then the GEF and other “green investors” should consider establishing similar investment vehicles to
help shift companies in other industries towards sustainable practices.
Finally, if the overall model is successful at transforming the aquarium fishing industry, then the GEF
and/or other funders should consider replicating it in other industries, such as the live food fish trade.
Risk Analysis
Political and social instability in
the target countries prevents the
project from being
Reefs and fish stocks are too
degraded to support any
continued harvest.
There is some potential for
country level disturbance, but
this is not likely.
With 2 target countries, if there is significant
instability in one, there is the possibility to
focus on the other country until conditions
Standardized scientific reef and fisheries
assessments will be undertaken at each area to
provide input to the management plans. Reef
restoration tools will reduce mortality and
increase successful recruitment of trade species.
The collectors and/or exporters
are not interested or able to be
Governments in key
export/import countries decide
to shut down the marine
ornamentals trade, making the
project irrelevant.
This project, like any endeavor
relying on successful
investment of risk capital, will
encounter some financial risk.
There is no guarantee that
investments in the aquarium
industry will yield adequate
The replicability of the
investment approach is not
guaranteed. While successful
conservation investments
generally attract follow-on
capital contributions, their
magnitude and timing cannot be
Resource surveys in the MAC
pilot phase indicate there is a
very small possibility that
entire reef areas and/or all
species of interest are unable
to support some level of use.
There is little likelihood that
exporters are not interested, as
the export associations of the
Philippines and Indonesia
have made public written
statements of support of MAC.
It is possible that some
collectors in some areas will
not be interested or able to
transform their practices.
Some departments in some of
the supply and market
countries have in the past, and
will likely again, propose that
the trade be restricted or shut
The fortunes of this industry,
like most luxury goods
industries, fluctuate greatly
with the performance of the
economy as a whole. Thus,
this is a medium-level risk.
This is a low-level risk.
The results of the pilot phase of MAC
implementation show that a significant portion
of the collectors and stakeholders invited to
become involved in the certification do accept
the opportunity.
Through MAC outreach to government
agencies, and with the initial implementation of
MAC Certification, most major export
countries recognize that there is a middle "winwin" road for the trade.
While it is possible to eliminate this risk, (for
example, by offering only full-recourse lowinterest loans), true industry transformation
may require that at least some of the GEF
capital will have to be invested in more risky
instruments (i.e. convertible debt). Although
the project sponsors are confident that they will
be able to preserve the capital at inflationadjusted levels over time, there is no guarantee.
Since the financial returns of these investments
will be below market rate, there is a limited
group of potential investors; chiefly, these
include foundations conservation-minded
private investors/"venture philanthropists", and
other multi-lateral institutions. All of these
groups have voiced interest in this type of
investment once it is led by GEF.
Work Plan
PDF-B grant funds will be used by the project team (MAC, RC, CCIF) to pursue the following critical
1. To analyze the basic assumptions and risks inherent in the MAMTI concept, and design MAMTI’s
operational model accordingly, including the site selection process;
2. To undertake consultations with stakeholders, especially relevant government departments, and to
identify and address their issues, analyze assumptions and risks, and form partnerships;
3. To design the monitoring, evaluation, and replication strategy for MAMTI;
4. To develop the full GEF proposal.
1. Analyze key concepts, assumptions, and risks
The project team will analyze, and in some cases test, the basic assumptions and risks inherent in the
MAMTI concept. The findings will be used to determine the appropriate design for MAMTI’s
operational model, including the process for site selection and evaluation. Key activities will include:
Conduct preliminary site selection
Conduct site screening, prioritization and updating. Site screening is the first step of a process
that consists of information gathering to evaluate all potential marine aquarium collection sites
based on the preliminary screening criteria and production of an initial list of candidate sites.
Particular emphasis will be placed on: a) synergies with coastal resource management, and
fisheries resource management activities; b) whether local government units (LGU) are
committed to coastal resource management (e.g. have an existing plan); and c) links to exporters
that are MAC Certified (or seeking certification). The candidate sites will be examined and
ranked based on a more complete set of criteria that consider factors such as the state of the reefs
and resources, target species variety, level of illegal fishing practices, indication of local
government support, and accessibility. This activity will produce a prioritized list of sites and an
initial site profile. As the MAMTI project progresses, there will be a need to screen additional
potential sites and the preliminary site screening process will be repeated as necessary.
Specific activities include:
 Develop preliminary screening criteria
 Gather information from national and local government agencies, development assistance
agencies, collectors, exporters, and international organizations
 Screen potential sites using preliminary screening criteria
 Gather in-depth information on candidate sites from same and additional sources
 Develop prioritized site list and initial site profiles
 Review potential sites and identify new candidate sites
 Undertake screening and prioritization of new sites
Outputs include:
 Preliminary list of candidate sites
 Prioritized list of sites
 Initial site profiles
 Periodically updated list of candidate sites
Identify pilot sites. From the sites screened in step 1.1.1, a sample of 4-6 “pilot” sites will be
identified. These sites will be evalauted in considerable detail in terms of resource availability,
resource controls, supply potential, and potential sustainability (see blelow for detailed
breakdown of pilot site work)
Conduct pilot site visits and verify feasibility as MAMTI site. Based on the list of priority
locations, site visits will be conducted to gather, verify and evaluate more detailed information on
each site. The visits will be the first of a series of collector and community stakeholder
consultations to raise awareness of the MAMTI program in order to ascertain the interest of the
collectors and stakeholders in participating. Communities interested in moving forward with the
MAMTI program are expected to produce a letter inviting the program to their area. The site visit
information will enable the site profiles to be expanded and will result in the list of target sites for
the MAMTI program. In municipalities with many strong candidate sites, MAMTI will focus on
one or two communities as demonstration sites.
Identify additional potenitial MAMTI sites. In addition to the intial pilot sites, the project team
will identify a second group of sites which appear to be highly attractive MAMTI sites. The team
will apply the findings and lessons learned during the evaluation of the pilot sites to identify and
characterize this group.
Evaluate marine resource availability for ecological/economic sustainability at pilot sites
The project team will investigate whether sufficient marine aquarium organisms are available,
and whether reefs are healthy enough, when considered in light of reef enhancement mechanisms,
for both ecological and economic sustainability. Key activities will include:
Review and synthesize existing scientific information. The project team will perform an
extensive review of available scientific information regarding the effects of reef fish capture on
fish and invertebrate abundance as well as overall reef health. The team will work with its
extensive set of scientific advisors to develop a survey of all new information regarding
sustainable levels of fishing for a variety of key species. This process will be aided by an existing
database of over two years of resource assessments carried out by team members in the two
countries and by other information gathered by government departments and academic teams.
Conduct stock assessments at sites to determine baseline conditions. This task, to be led by Reef
Check, will consist of the following major steps:
Determine status of fish stocks in MAMTI target areas: Over 200 sites have been identified in
the Philippines alone as marine organism collection areas. A review is needed of the status of
aquarium fish and invertebrate stocks in selected areas to determine the baseline and decide
which sites should be prioritized for MAMTI. A rapid field assessment protocol will be
sufficient at some sites; however, where no existing data are available, it is anticipated that
highly intensive MAQTRAC surveys will be needed for both invertebrates and fish.
Develop a scientific basis for a sustainable harvest of marine ornamentals: MAQTRAC and
CPUE data will be analyzed using standard statistical packages and stock assessment models
where possible. The results of these analyses will be assessed in light of the potential for reef
enhancement to increase stocks and will be used to establish ecological criteria for site
Integrating MAQTRAC results into Collection Area Management Plans (CAMPs): The field
monitoring and CPUE results will be used to inform the design of Collection Area
Management Plans. During the PDF-B phase, the mechanism to ensure this process is
acceptable to all stakeholders will be designed. Each Collection Area Management Plan will
be required to ensure that collection practices are sustainable. It will be important for this
plan to be flexible so that it can be adjusted as reef organism stocks increase or decline and as
more data become available. The system will also allow the results of regular ecological
monitoring to be used to adjust the management provisions in the CAMP.
Evaluate feasibility of reef enhancement techniques. Reef enhancement activities may be needed
at many sites to provide sufficient long-term supplies of reef organisms for the trade. Pilot tests
will be used to determine the best species mix for post-larval collection and grow-out. The team
will also evaluate the feasibility of: no take/replenishment areas where field level rejects are
restocked onto the reef, post-larval capture using crest nets, and village level reef enhancement.
Evaluate marine resource availability at additional sites. The analyses described above (1.2)
will repeated for a larger group of sites potentially attractive to MAMTI. As the project
progresses, this will be an on-going activity.
Evaluate access, user rights, and resource controls
Evaluate marine tenure/user rights at pilot sites. Understanding ownership of the marine
ornamental resources, or access/user rights, is fundamental to developing a system of sustainable
use and management. There are a number of ownership/user rights scenarios for near-shore
marine resources in Indonesia and the Philippines. These range from central government control
in Indonesia (although this is changing with recent legislation), to local government control in the
Philippines, to areas of continued traditional marine tenure in pockets of both countries. The
range of scenarios are known and documented well enough, but need to be systematically
analyzed in relation to the development and implementation of reef area management, as required
by the certification. The costs and benefits of each marine resource control system will be
analyzed, and strategic and practical approaches identified, in relation to developing management
plans and achieving certification.
In addition, the project team will evaluate the potential for using conservation concession
payments as a means to establish control over marine reserves.
Review government marine tenure policies. The project team will work with the national,
regional, and local government agencies, as well as academics, to determine the applicable legal
and regulatory framework governing marine tenure and fishing rights. At the pilot sites, the team
will also assess the degree of enforcement of these policies. Lastly, the team will assess likely
changes and developments in the political/regulatory framework.
Analyze and develop government role in monitoring and enforcing compliance. The Philippines
and Indonesia government agencies responsible for fishery management, (BFAR and DKP)
recognize that certification can play an important role in ensuring the marine aquarium trade is
sustainable and responsible. MAC and BFAR work together closely and in 2002 the two
organizations signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) endorsing MAC activities in the
Philippines and identifying the areas of collaboration. MAC is in the process of developing an
MOU with DKP to lay the foundation for a similar level of collaboration in achieving mutual
goals. Both of these agencies are also important in helping ensure that local agencies and
programs collaborate with the implementation of certification. For example, BFAR has been
instrumental in facilitating involvement of local government units and fish wardens in
implementing MAC Certification during the pilot phase in the Philippines.
During the PBF-B, the project partners will work with BFAR, DKP and local agencies to analyze
and develop the role of national and local government in developing and implementing MAC
Certification as part of the full proposal. This will especially include the role of government
agencies in monitoring and enforcing compliance with the MAC Standards. Other areas include
the role of government in: facilitating local government involvement in MAC Certification,
especially in developing collection area management plans; coordinate the involvement of local
units of the national agencies; linking specific projects with MAC effort (e.g. the Philippines'
Fisheries Resource Management Project (FRMP), the Indonesia COREMAP); and requesting or
convening the involvement if the industry when needed.
Evaluate cyanide detection methods. Chemical use, such as cyanide, is not allowed in certified
fisheries. A key part of the certification will be the ability to test fish for cyanide presence. Due
to the rapid breakdown of cyanide in the fish tissue, testing must be done as soon as possible after
potential use, i.e. in the export country. There are no cyanide detection tests (CDT) for detecting
the presence of cyanide in fish tissue that are known to have been formally approved by national
standards and testing organizations. However, several tests have been developed that could
potentially be used. For example, a procedure for testing for cyanide in water has been adapted
for use in testing fish and has been tried in the Philippines. The procedure, however, has not been
subject to independent scientific review. To ensure that the cyanide detection tests (CDT) used in
conjunction with certification are valid, appropriate, and effective, a credible institution will
undertake independent scientific evaluation of the CDT methods that have been used in the
Philippines and other proposed CDT methods. Appropriate research institutions will be identified
to undertake studies to 1) evaluate the existing cyanide detection method used in the Philippines;
2) if it is determined that it does not work, investigate whether there are adaptations/adjustments
that can be made to the method to make it applicable; 3) determine what other methods there are
that could be evaluated as potentially appropriate and effective.
Verify potential sustainability of harvest practices and levels at pilot sites
Evaluate fishing practices. The baseline level of reef use and users will need to be determined at
pilot sites. This covers the range of reef resource uses that may affect, or may be affected by, the
marine aquarium trade. This includes documenting, as best as possible, the major types of fishing
carried out (traps or barrier nets) and the level of illegal practices (e.g. destructive fishing and
poaching). The baseline level of marine aquarium organism collection must also be documented
for each area (i.e. volume, value, kinds and trends in the collection of marine ornamentals at the
site, transportation, market linkage, species mix).
Evaluate aquarium business structure.
The project team will evaluate the role of
fishermen/collectors, middlemen, and exporters at the initial sites. Typically, the trade in marine
organisms involves a relatively complex chain of participants, each of whom plays an important
role. Middlemen and exporters, for example, often invest in collectors’ equipment, help the
fishermen through economic difficulties, and create a system of strong allegiances and
indebtedness. Understanding these relationships is critical to assessing the potential success of
the MAMTI model.
Evaluate fishermen/middlemen knowledge of best practices. Baseline marine aquarium
collection and post harvest handling practices employed by collectors in pilot areas must be
documented through observation and discussions with fishermen and others in the community. In
addition, the understanding of quality control and quality assurance through best practices in
collection techniques, post harvest handling, packing, and transport will be evaluated to
determine what kind and level of training are necessary, especially in implementing proper
collecting techniques using only nets.
Verify potential sustainability of harvest practices and levels at additional sites. The
analyses described above (1.5) will repeated for a larger group of sites potentially attractive to
MAMTI. As the project progresses, this will be an on-going activity.
Verify that sustainable certified supply is possible
Analyze incentives for collectors and exporters. Moving the certified product to the end
consumer requires a highly coordinated distribution effort, which involves various combinations
of middlemen, exporters, trans-shippers, importers, retailers, etc. The MAMTI model is based on
the assumption that certification will provide compelling economic incentives for the supply
chain to accommodate and promote certified product. PDF-B funding will be required to verify
these assumptions at every level and to design a model for simplifying the (currently highly
disintermediated) supply chain. This will require different activities at different points along the
supply chain.
Collectors: Certification requires multi-stakeholder ecosystem management planning for
collection areas, including reef replenishment zones/"no-take" sanctuaries. There are few
examples, and limited government resources, to achieve this. Community stakeholders and
local governments need capacity building for developing and implementing management
plans. The project partners will analyze the successes and failures from the community
development and management planning experience in MAC’s pilot phase work with
communities to achieve certification in the Philippines. With this information and
stakeholder consultations, the team will design the program for working with communities to
develop and undertake a management planning process.
Middlemen: Middlemen provide important services to fishermen - they consolidate catches,
transport product to exporters, and provide required capital and infrastructure (albeit at very
high implied interest rates). However, the practices of irresponsible middlemen are also often
problematic - most lack adequate technology and infrastructure for fish holding and handling,
they have traditionally been key suppliers of cyanide, and they are likely to oppose outside
scrutiny and/or reef tenure. A set of relevant roles and incentives will need to be developed
which makes sustainable and monitored harvesting, holding, and handling practices an
economically attractive choice. This could include capital for equipment upgrades, greater
pricing security, higher prices for certified fish, guaranteed volume contracts, etc. The
project team will analyze the middleman’s economic and social context, and design an
appropriate set of incentives and functions. MAC has already accomplished this in its
Philippine pilot areas, where the middlemen are now the "Collectors' Coordinator" and have
expanded roles and responsibilities as well as a vested interest in ensuring that the collectors
and process stay within the requirements of certification.
Exporters: Exporters play a key role in the supply chain - they consolidate supply from
hundreds of middlemen, maintain an inventory of product that is optimized to the demands of
the international market, and provide access to importers and trans-shippers. The project
team will address a number of issues regarding the economic and logistical challenges of
converting exporters to a fully certified and sustainable model. These include:
Supply: How can exporters be assured of rapidly growing supply of certified product?
What role should they play in developing this supply? What type of contractual linkages
should be developed with fishermen cooperatives and middlemen providing certified
Pricing and marketing: What, if any, surcharge should be levied for certified product?
How should exporters market certified supply? How should they deal with the issue of
supplying both certified and non-certified product to importers?
Logistics: How should the supply of certified product be tracked and documented? What
types of incentives, if any, will be required to change the holding and handling practices
to certifiable standards?
Determine amount of training needed. The 4,000-8,000 fishermen in the Philippines, and a
similar number in Indonesia, are the industry's interface with coral reefs. Their actions determine
the difference between sustainable reef resource use and degradation. Unfortunately, there are no
full-scale programs to inform, train, and prepare fishermen for MAC Certification. Through the
PDF-B, the team will analyze the successes and failures of previous training programs, including
those of MAC, and the incentives and constraints for training fishermen to achieve and maintain
use of best practices that comply with certification. This information, along with stakeholder
consultations, will be used to develop the training program for fishermen.
Develop quality assessment and control procedures for harvest operations. In the long term,
ensuring fishermen’s compliance with the MAC Certification Standards will require a mix of
incentives and disincentives. The latter will be especially important in the earlier days of
certification when there will be less familiarity with the benefits of certification and a propensity
by certified participants to "test" how well the certification system monitors compliance and
detects and responds to attempts at "cheating". Consultations with fishermen, exporters,
government agencies, community organizers, and other stakeholders will be undertaken to
develop a program of quality assessment and control procedures. Of particular importance will
be the development and implementation of a credible and practical means for detecting the use of
cyanide in fishing.
Determine required volume and variety of products. The international trade in marine aquarium
organisms covers hundreds of species of fish and invertebrates. Patterns of demand for individual
species are well established, with certain “premium” species fetching very high prices. The
economics of exporters and importers alike depend critically on their ability to optimize the mix
of species in their inventory – “bread and butter” fish must be represented in the right proportion
to more expensive, rare varieties. The project team will evaluate the ability of the initial sites to
supply the industry with a representative and optimal mix of species.
Review government marine organism export policies. The project team will systematically
evaluate the national and international export regulations (e.g., CITES) on certain classes of
marine organisms as they effect the initial sites, such as restrictions on coral export, live rock
collecting, etc.
Verify that sufficient demand for certified product exists
Analyze importer and retailer incentives/willingness to participate. The marine ornamentals
industry is relatively concentrated at the importer level – in the U.S., the five largest importers
control over 70% of industry volume. However, even the largest importers have been
unable/unwilling to unilaterally demand sustainable practices from the thousands of fishermen,
middlemen and exporters on whom they rely. Importers face supply, pricing, and logistic
challenges similar to those of the exporters, which will have to be addressed systematically by the
project team. In addition, the team will assess the potential for fully integrated importer
operations which would enable importers to control the entire value chain “from reef to retail”,
thus realizing significant savings from improved product quality and streamlined distribution
Analyze consumer willingness to pay. MAC-certified products offer very real advantages to the
consumer - the fish are healthy, mortality is low, and vitality is high. There are strong indications
that consumers are willing to pay a premium for these organisms and this is being borne out by
experience with the certified fish from the MAC pilots that are now reaching the market.
Although some studies have been conducted, the consumer situation has not been systematically
assessed. The project team will conduct a formal survey of aquarium consumers to test key
purchase criteria, elasticity of demand, and price drivers.
Develop general strategy and plan for demand-side marketing campaigns. The project team will
prepare a marketing strategy focused on introducing MAC-certified product from the initial areas
to the U.S. and European market place. Potential strategies include aggressive, full-page
advertising in the major hobbyist magazines, PR in mainstream media, and a comprehensive
support program for retailers, including counter displays and brochures, web promotions and
favorable tie-ins with mass media PR campaigns. In addition, the team will evaluate key leverage
points, such as addressing the primary shipping airlines to promote the transport of MAC
Certified Organisms, and working with pet industry associations in the U.S. and Europe. Lastly,
the team will evaluate opportunities to work with government organizations in source countries
and major consumer markets to encourage industry certification.
Ensure investors will accept MAMTI business model and process
The MAMTI proposes to provide key participants in the marine ornamentals trade with the
capital required to transform the industry to sustainable practices. The project team will
investigate in detail the investment strategy, processes, and partners required to do so.
Develop investment business model. The project team will investigate alternative investment
models in terms of their economic and programmatic effectiveness. These models will include:
Financing marine tenure/control: Control of marine resources by harvesters and their
community, or at least stability in assured access/user rights, is important to MAMTI’s
success. In many cases, establishing control will require a direct payment such as
concessions or marine leases. The project team will investigate the optimal model for
establishing control, the magnitude of required financing, and the available strategies for
capital recovery.
Micro-lending to fishermen and middlemen: Fishermen and middlemen will require capital
to upgrade their holding and handling capabilities, train, and finance other initial switching
costs inherent to certification. The project team will i) investigate the feasibility of using a
micro-lending approach to provide such capital, ii) identify potential local providers of microlending services, if necessary, and iii) quantify the magnitude of financing required.
Exporter-led supply chain reform: Exporters can lead the way to reform by integrating “back
down” the supply chain – i.e. by investing in proprietary and fully controlled collection
stations that employ local, fully trained fishermen. In addition, exporters will have to invest
in transforming their own facilities to certifiable standards. The project team will investigate
the feasibility of financing these activities, a task made harder by the inherent risks of
investing in developing countries with sub-standard institutional support. The team will also
assess the magnitude and timing of potential funding requirements.
Importers: Similarly, importers can assume the function of integrating the supply chain and
establishing fully controlled and certified “reef to retail” operations. The project team will
investigate the feasibility of supporting importer-led, carefully managed acquisitions or
partnerships with exporters and fishermen collectives. The team will also assess the
magnitude and timing of potential funding requirements.
Develop investment process. The MAMTI will work with a for-profit investment partner
(CoreResources or other) to implement its investment strategy in strict compliance with economic
and programmatic criteria. The project team will develop an investment process that assures
thorough review of potential investments, high-quality portfolio management, innovative
financing models, and complete and accurate documentation. This will involve:
Development of investment criteria: The team will develop a set of complete and relevant
investment criteria. Economic criteria will include overall return objectives, risk/return
expectations, risk sharing/syndication of deals, deal maturity, preferred investment
instruments, etc. Programmatic criteria will address the potential of a given investment to
have transformative effect on a regional scale in terms of industry reform.
Development of investment committee: The team will assemble an investment committee that
will convene regularly to approve specific due diligence and investment decisions.
Fund management: The day-to-day operation of the investment activities (including deal
flow identification, due diligence, deal structuring and syndication, deal monitoring, followon-financing, documentation, etc.) will be assigned to a professional entity. The project team
will identify the professional organization best suited to provide these services, and will
design the appropriate contract/term sheet structure for management fees, carried interest
charges, etc.
Development of appropriate investment instruments: It is anticipated that the MAMTI will
use a combination of debt, equity and grant financing to achieve its economic and
programmatic objectives. The project team will investigate the appropriate range and balance
of these instruments.
Identify potential investors. The project team will prepare a “road show” and present the
MAMTI concept to a number of potentially interested investors. These will include major
foundations such as the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T.
MacArthur Foundation, and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, major multi-national
corporations with strong interests in the MAMTI project area, such as ABN AMRO,
ChevronTexaco, Shell, San Miguel, etc., as well as private philanthropists. Letters of intent will
be solicited from all interested parties.
Verify MAC’s ability to become self-sufficient
1.10.1. Finalize MAC Business Plan. MAC has recently prepared a highly detailed draft of a Business
Plan, including major aspects of its supply and demand creation strategies, staffing, projected
revenue sources, a full set of detailed financial pro formas, etc. The project team will undertake a
series of consultations/workshops with MAC Board members, especially those that represent the
industry, funders, and other key stakeholders to come to agreement on the Business Plan. The
trade associations on the MAC Board are consulting with their members, i.e. individual
companies in the marine aquarium trade, to develop their input to the review and revision of the
1.10.2. Verify industry intent/mechanism to support MAC. The MAC Business Plan must be approved
by the MAC Board, which represents the full spectrum of stakeholders, from conservation
organizations to all the major trade associations. A key component of the Business Plan is the
projection for MAC to become financially self sufficient for its core costs within five years
through a well defined program of assessing and collecting industry fees in association with
achieving certification and the increase in certified product. The project team will work with the
MAC Board to secure approval of the Business Plan, which will signal industry intent to support
MAC through the fee structure and process.
2. Undertake consultations with stakeholders
Identify key stakeholders
During the PDF-B phase, the team will develop, strengthen, and expand relationships with key
stakeholders in Indonesia and the Philippines. These partnerships will include: government (from
central government ministries and agencies to local government units), NGOs (from international
organizations to local, grassroots community groups), industry (from trade associations and large
multinational companies, to collectors associations and small businesses), international
organizations, and overseas development agencies. The means for establishing and verifying the
partnerships will include: regular communications and consultations, MOUs, statements of intent
or commitment, joint activities or planning, etc. In addition, the project team will identify
members of an advisory group to be formed in the Philippines and Indonesia.
Philippines partners will include:
 Government Agencies: Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR),
Department of Agriculture's Bureau of Fisheries and Aquaculture (BFAR), local government
units and municipalities at field sites, Palawan Council for Sustainable Development.
 Industry: Philippine Tropical Fish Exporters Association (PTFEA), collectors associations at
field sites.
 NGOs: World Wildlife Fund-Philippines (KKP).
 International Agencies and Overseas Development Agencies: ADB, USAID, GTZ
Indonesian partners will include:
Government Agencies: Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (DKP), Department of
National Parks and Conservation (PHPA); local government units and municipalities at field
Industry: Indonesia Coral, Shell and Ornamental Fish Association (AKKII); Bali Fish
Exporters Association; collectors associations at field sites.
NGOs: World Wildlife Fund-Indonesia; Terangi (Indonesia Coral Reef Foundation);
Telakpak, The Nature Conservancy Indonesia, Indonesia Ecolabeling Institute.
International Agencies and Overseas Development Agencies: World Bank, USAID, GTZ.
In addition, MAMTI will rely extensively on business partnerships to achieve its objectives. The
project team will identify and evaluate potential business partners, and, if appropriate, structure
MOUs with the following groups:
Exporters in Indonesia and the Philippines: A number of exporters, in both the Philippines
and Indonesia, have expressed interest in certification and active promotion of certified
marine ornamentals. The team will select initial partners for MAMTI in the areas of supply
development, supply chain simplification and coordination, and potential capital investment.
Industry groups (AKKI, Philippine Exporter Association, etc.): The marine ornamental
export industry in Indonesia and the Philippines is organized into trade groups. The largest of
these groups are highly involved in the promotion of certification. The Philippines Tropical
Fish Export Association, which includes 24 of the 27 exporters in the Philippines, and the
Indonesia Coral, Shell and Ornamental Fish Association, which includes all coral exporters in
Indonesia, have both made a public statement of commitment supporting the development of
MAC Certification and encouraging their members to become certified. The team will work
with these groups to structure formal arrangements for the identification and management of
highly productive industry reform initiatives.
Key U.S. and European importers: The project team will explore potential partnership
arrangements for MAMTI with the largest importers in the areas of supply chain
simplification and coordination, and potential capital investments.
NGOs: The project team will pursue collaborative arrangements with NGOs active in the
coral reef preservation field in Southeast Asia, such as The Nature Conservancy and WWF in
Indonesia, WWF (KKP) in the Philippines, and local NGOs such as Terangi (Indonesia Coral
Reef Foundation). Potential partnership activities will include identification of attractive
investment areas, fishermen training, and government relations.
Engage key stakeholders through consultations
The project team has existing relationships with most of these stakeholder groups. The team will
develop a presentation of the MAMTI model and conduct individual meetings with the most
important groups to solicit advice and support. In some cases, the project team will use forums
created by exporter groups, industry associations, conferences, etc. to convene and communicate
to groups of stakeholders at the same time. By the end of the PDF B project period, there should
be no relevant group which has not been made familiar with the MAMTI concept, and which has
not had a chance to provide feedback.
Create network for Philippine/Indonesian exchange of best practices/lessons learned
Through the PBF-B work to identify and engage stakeholders, the project team will develop a
network for exchange of information and experience on the transformation of the marine
aquarium trade in each country. This will be expanded to develop a network for the exchange of
information on best practices between Indonesia and the Philippines, especially to allow
Indonesia to learn from the experience of the more advanced pilot work conducted by MAC in
the Philippines. This has already begun with the "training of trainers" program that was
conducted in the Philippines in 2002 for a core group of Indonesian net training instructors.
3. Design monitoring, evaluation, and replication strategy
Consult with appropriate stakeholders to define critical outcomes, indicators, and metrics
The project team will work with stakeholders, especially government departments, to design clear
goals for the full project. At the same time, the team will develop a plan to monitor the progress
of the project using carefully chosen indicators of success that are measurable. These indicators
will not be restricted to one sector or discipline but will include biophysical as well as
socioeconomic parameters.
Work with IFC and GEF Secretariat to develop monitoring program
The monitoring and evaluation plan will be reviewed with IFC and the GEF Secretariat as part of
the full proposal development process and revised as needed to meet the needs of these
Consult with appropriate stakeholders to develop strategy for replication
The marine aquarium trade operates at many sites in the Philippines and Indonesia and in many
countries in addition to the Philippines and Indonesia. Ensuring that the process for achieving
certification will be adopted in other locations and in other countries is an important part of the
long term incremental benefit of transforming the marine aquarium trade. During the PDF-B
phase, the team will assess with stakeholders, especially fishermen and communities, what
approaches would work best for transferring the results of certification development to other
areas within their country. The team will communicate with stakeholders in other key supply
countries to determine what strategies will work best for inter-country transfer of experience and
lessons learned for replication.
Based on the pilot level experience, possible components of the replication strategy include:
encouraging and facilitating interaction among the collectors and communities at different sites,
regular meetings between MAC Certified collectors and exporters to review and improve the
arrangements and understanding between these parties on best practices, encouraging certified
operators to interact with other stakeholders, especially government agencies, about their
certification experience, creating opportunities and materials for communication and exchange
with policy makers and the public, and creating communication materials on lessons learned that
are widely disseminated.
4. Synthesize results into full MAMTI proposal
Convene three proposal development meetings of partners
The project team is aware that the PDF-B time frame is relatively short, therefore, three formal
meetings are proposed for the actual proposal development process. The first meeting will be held
at the beginning of the project in June 2003 to finalize the workplan. The output of the first
meeting will be a draft proposal with main headings and assigned sections. The second meeting
will be an opportunity to review and revise the full project workplan and to further develop the
proposal and budget. The final meeting will be held at the end of the PDF-B project period to
complete the final draft of the project proposal, taking into account all of the information learned.
Present first draft of full proposal to IFC, GEF Secretariat, and other key reviewers
The first draft will be presented to IFC, designated reviewers from Indonesia and the Philippines,
and representatives of GEF Secretariat for comment and suggestions. The draft will be revised
taking into account the advice provided.
Present final proposal
The full project proposal will be submitted to GEF Secretariat in time for consideration at the
September 2003 meeting. The proposed start date for the project will be 2nd quarter 2004. The
project team partners have been collaborating for over two years on solving marine aquarium
trade issues and therefore the team has a comparative advantage and head start with teams already
on the ground in both Indonesia and the Philippines. Therefore the proposed timetable should be
feasible and advantageous in allowing implementation at the earliest possible time.
Analyze key concepts assumptions and risks
1.1. Conduct preliminary site selection
1.1.1. Conduct site screening, prioritization and updating
1.1.2. Identify pilot sites
1.1.3. Conduct initial pilot site visit and verify feasibility as MAMTI site
1.1.4. Identify additional potential MAMTI sites
1.2. Evaluate marine resource availability at pilot sites
1.2.1. Review and synthesize existing scientific information
1.2.2. Conduct stock assessments at sites to determine baseline conditions
1.2.3. Evaluate feasibility of reef enhancement techniques
1.3. Evaluate marine resource availability at additional sites
1.3.1. Review and synthesize existing scientific information
1.3.2. Conduct stock and technology assessments
1.4. Evaluate access, user rights, and resource controls
1.4.1. Evaluate marine tenure/user rights at pilot sites
1.4.2. Review overall government marine tenure policies
1.4.3. Analyze and develop overall government role in monitoring and
enforcing compliance
1.4.4. Evaluate cyanide detection methods
1.5. Verify potential sustainability of harvest practices and levels
1.5.1. Evaluate fishing practices at pilot sites
1.5.2. Evaluate aquarium business structure at pilot sites
1.5.3. Evaluate fishermen/middlemen’sbest practice knowledge at pilot sites
1.6. Evaluate fishing practices, busines structure and best practice knowledge at
additional sites
1.7. Verify that sustainable certified supply is possible for pilot sites
1.7.1. Analyze incentives for collectors and exporters
1.7.2. Determine amount of training needed
1.7.3. Develop quality assessment and control procedures for harvest
1.7.4. Determine required volume and variety of products
1.7.5. Review government marine organism export policies
1.8. Verify that sufficient demand for certified product exists
1.8.1. Analyze importer and retailer incentives/willingness to participate
1.8.2. Analyze consumer willingness to pay
9 10 11
13 14 15
1.8.3. Develop general strategy and plan for demand-side marketing
1.9. Ensure investors will accept MAMTI business model and process
1.9.1. Develop investment business model
1.9.2. Develop investment process
1.9.3. Identify potential investors
1.10. Verify MAC’s ability to become self-sufficient
1.10.1. Finalize MAC Business Plan
1.10.2. Verify industry intent/mechanism to support MAC
9 10 11
13 14 15
Undertake consultation with stakeholders
2.1. Identify key stakeholders
2.2. Engage key stakeholders through consultations
2.3. Create network for Philippine/Indonesian exchange of best practices/
lessons learned
Design monitoring, evaluating, and replication strategy
3.1. Consult with appropriate stakeholders to define critical outcomes,
indicators, and metrics
3.2. Work with IFC to develop monitoring program
3.3. Consult with appropriate stakeholders to develop strategy for
Synthesize results into full MAMTI proposal
4.1. Convene three proposal development meetings of partners
4.2. Present first draft of full proposal to IFC, GEF Secretariat, and other
key reviewers
4.3. Present proposal to GEF Council
4.4. Present final proposal for CEO endorsement
GEF PDF-B Budget Allocation
Matching Funds
Analyze key concepts assumptions and risks
1.1. Conduct preliminary site selection
Evaluate marine resource availability for
ecological and economic sustainability
1.3. Evaluate access, user rights, and resource
1.4. Verify potential sustainability of harvest
practices and levels
1.5. Verify that sustainable certified supply is
1.6. Verify that sufficient demand for certified
product exists
1.7. Ensure investors will accept MAMTI
business model and process
1.8. Verify MAC’s ability to become selfsufficient
Undertake consultation with stakeholders
2.1. Identify key stakeholders
2.2. Engage key stakeholders through
2.3. Create network for Philippine/Indonesian
exchange of best practices/ lessons learned
Design monitoring, evaluating, and
replication strategy
3.1. Consult with appropriate stakeholders to
define critical outcomes, indicators, and
3.2. Work with IFC and GEF Secretariat to
develop monitoring program
3.3. Consult with appropriate stakeholders to
develop strategy for replication
Synthesize results into full MAMTI
4.1. Convene three proposal development
meetings of partners
4.2. Present first draft of full proposal to IFC,
GEF Secretariat, and other key reviewers
4.3. Present final proposal
Appendix 1: MAC Stakeholders in Indonesia and the Philippines
Organizations/Agencies with whom MAC interacts or has undertaken consultations
A. Government
 Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries - Departmen Kelautan dan Perikanan (DKP)
 Ministry of Trade and Industry - Departmen Industri dan Perdagangan (Deperindag)
 State Ministry of the Environment - Kantor Menteri Negara Lingkungan Hidup (LH)
 CITES Scientific Authority and CITES Management Authority
 Indonesia National Science Institute - Lembaga Ilmu Pengetahuan Indonesia (LIPI)
 Member of President's National Maritime Council - Dewan Maritim
 Department of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador-at-large for Law of the Sea/Maritime Affairs
 Provincial Government of Bali Fisheries Division
Provincial and Local:
 Many provincial and local authorities and agencies in pilot areas
B. Non-Governmental Organizations
 WWF - Indonesia
 The Nature Conservancy - Indonesia
 Indonesia Ecolabeling Institute - Lembaga Ekolabel Indonesia (LEI)
 Yayasan Telapak Indonesia
 International Marinelife Alliance (IMA) - Indonesia
 Wahana Lingkungan Hidup Indonesia (Walhi)
 Kehati - Indonesia Biodiversity Foundation
 Yayasan Terumbu Karang Indonesia (Terangi)
 Bogor Agricultural University, Center for Environmental Studies - Institut Pertanian Bogor (IPB),
Pusat Studi Lingkungan
 Hasanuddin University, Center for Coral Reef Studies - Universitas Hasanuddin (Unhas), Pusat
Studi Terumbu Karang
 Local groups in pilot areas
C. Marine Aquarium Industry (including collectors)
 Many individual collectors, collection groups and export companies
 Indonesia Coral Shell and Ornamental Fish Association - Asosiasi Koral, Kerang, dan Ikan Hias
Indonesia (AKKI)
 Bali Ornamental Fish Association
D. Certification Companies and Other Industry
 PT Succofindo International
 Indonesian Chamber of Commerce
 Total Indonesia
 International Joint Venture Oil Corporation
E. International Organizations/Programs in Indonesia
 World Bank
 Coral Reef Rehabilitation and Management Program (COREMAP)
A. Government
 Department of Agriculture
 Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR)
 Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD)
 Environment Management Bureau (EMB)
 Coastal Resource Management Program (CRMP)
 Fishery Resource Management Program (FRMP)
 National Fishery and Aquatic Resource Management Council (NFARMC)
 Philippine National Police Maritime Command (PNP-Maritime)
 Philippine Fisheries Development Authority (PFDA)
 Philippine Coast Guard
Provincial and Local:
 Many provincial and local authorities and agencies in areas that are certified or actively seeking
B. Non-Governmental Organizations
 International Marinelife Alliance -Philippines
 WWF Philippines (KKP)
 Environmental Legal Action Center (ELAC)
 Bantay-Dagat (groups carrying community-based protection of coastal resources)
 Bantay-Kalikasan Foundation
 Coastal Conservation and Education Foundation, Inc.
 National Fish Wardens Association (NFWA)
 Save our Seas (SOS)
 Earthsavers Movement
 Haribon Foundation
 University of the Philippines
 University of Mindanao
 Many local groups in areas that are certified or actively seeking certification
C. Marine Aquarium Industry (including collectors)
 Many individual collectors, collection groups and export companies
 Aquarium Fish Collectors Cooperatives/Associations in 18 collection sites
 Independent exporters
D. Certification Companies and Other Industry
 SGS-Philippines
 Lloyds Quality Assurance
 Henderson International
E. International Organizations/Programs
 German Technical Assistance Program (GTZ)
 United Nations Environment Program (UNEP)
 Australian Agency for International Development (AUSAID)
 Dutch Embassy
 Swedish Embassy
F. Media Organizations/Development Communicators
 National Press Club (NPC)
 Philippine Agricultural Journalists
 National Union
Appendix 2: MAC Board of Directors
Charles Barber; Vice-President, International Marinelife Alliance [International Conservation
John Brandt; Board Member, Marine Aquarium Societies of North America [Hobbyist Association]
Bruce Bunting; Vice President, Conservation Finance, World Wildlife Fund-US [International
Conservation Organization]
Keith Davenport; Executive Director, Ornamental Aquatic Trade Association (OATA)
[Industry/Trade Association]
John Dawes; Secretary General, Ornamental Fish International (OFI) [Industry/Trade Association]
Randall Goodlett; President, American Marinelife Dealers Association (AMDA) [Industry/Trade
Association - Retail]
Rex Horoi; Executive Director, Foundations of the Peoples of the South Pacific (FSPI) [International
Conservation Organization]
Marshall Meyers; Executive Director, Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC) [Industry/Trade
Joko Purwanto; Chairman, Asosiasi Koral Kerang dan Ikan Hias Indonesia (AKKII)
Indonesia Coral, Shell and Ornamental Fish Association (ICSOFA) [Industry/Trade Association Export]
Johannes Subijanto; Marine Policy Advisor, The Nature Conservancy - Indonesia Program
[International Conservation Organization]
Ms Lolita Ty; President, Philippine Tropical Fish Export Association [Industry/Trade Association Export]
Frank Vorhies; Head, Economics of Biodiversity Unit, IUCN - The World Conservation Union
[International Conservation Organization]
Doug Warmolts; Assistant Director of Living Collections, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium/American
Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA) [Public Aquarium Association]
Dradjad Wibowo; Executive Director, Indonesia Ecolabeling Institute-Lembaga Ekolabel Indonesia
(LEI) [Environment/Sustainability Certification Organization]
Appendix 3: Organization Profiles
Reef Check
Reef Check was established in 1997 to reverse the global decline in the health of coral reefs. It is the only
program to define and measure reef health using a standard method on a global scale. Reef Check is an
international non-profit program based at the Institute of the Environment, University of California at Los
Angeles. The Reef Check mission is to:
Educate the public and governments about the value of coral reefs and the crisis facing them;
Create a global network of volunteer teams, trained and led by scientists, that regularly monitor and
report on reef health using a standard method;
Facilitate collaborative use of reef health information by community groups, governments,
universities and businesses to design and implement ecologically sound and economically sustainable
Stimulate local action to protect remaining pristine reefs and rehabilitate damaged reefs worldwide
On a global scale, the Reef Check strategy is to support a National Coordinator in every country where
coral reefs are found. The coordinators interact through regular regional training sessions, meetings, the
internet and joint survey activities. Within each country, the Coordinator’s role is to bring together teams
of volunteer marine scientists, government technical staff and community members, and to provide them
with the training so that they can monitor changes in coral reef health. Reef Check also provides coral
reef management training to empower team to work with government agencies, environmental groups and
the private sector to design and implement solutions to coral reef problems detected by their monitoring.
The results of the monitoring are analyzed at the local, regional and global scale to produce an annual
report on the state of the world’s coral reefs and for publication in peer-reviewed scientific journals. A
web-based expert advisory system is under development to make the results and management advice
more widely available. A Press Conference is held in each country and at the Los Angeles Headquarters
to disseminate each year’s results. Reef Check carried out the first global survey of coral reefs in 1997.
The results provided the first scientific evidence of the global extent of the coral reef crisis and
highlighted the role of over-fishing in damaging reefs. Subsequent surveys of hundreds of reefs by
thousands of volunteer divers each year have documented a dramatic decline in coral reef. In September
2002, a major report entitled “The Global Coral Reef Crisis – Trends and Solutions” was presented at the
World Summit on Sustainable Development. The report documented the results of the first five years of
Reef Check monitoring.
Reef Check awards include the Global Environmental Prize from CMAS, the World Underwater
Federation in January 2000, the Chevron Award in August 2001, and the NOAA Environmental Award in
December 2001. Reef Check was selected by the United Nations (UNEP, UNDP and UNESCO) to serve
as their community-based reef program and works together with them to achieve sustainable reef
Trade in marine ornamental fish is a $200 million annual business. The Marine Aquarium Council
(MAC) has established certification standards to help the industry become sustainable. Reef Check
designed an intensive monitoring protocol called “MAQTRAC” to be used to study the effects of
collection on reef health. Reef Check scientists are currently using MAQTRAC in the Philippines, Fiji
and Indonesia. MAC’s goal is to improve collection practices and fish survival rates from the point of
collection through to retail sale. Reef Check’s goal is to use this business as another incentive to
rehabilitate damaged reefs by transforming marine aquarium fishermen into reef managers. A more recent
partner, CCIF, is helping to locate investment for the industry to be transformed into a model of
Conservation and Community Investment Forum
The nonprofit Conservation and Community Investment Forum (CCIF) works on behalf of private,
corporate, and multilateral investors seeking direct and immediate conservation returns on their
investments. CCIF specializes in applying the tools, strategies, and capital sources of the private sector to
address urgent conservation issues worldwide. CCIF is staffed by a group of business, investment, and
conservation-minded professionals who share a commitment to developing practical, effective solutions
to the most pressing biodiversity conservation challenges facing communities across the globe.
CCIF specializes in the following services:
Conservation finance. Since early 2001 CCIF has been designing and promoting private sector
investments in biodiversity conservation worldwide. CCIF works on behalf of private, corporate, and
multi-lateral investors seeking direct conservation returns on their investments. CCIF concentrates on
the protection of critical biodiversity areas under massive and immediate threats – such as coastal
tropical rainforest and coral reefs. CCIF combines expertise in pragmatic, on-the-ground
conservation work with extensive experience in finance and investment banking to design and finance
conservation solutions which lead to direct, sustainable conservation outcomes. In most cases, CCIF
strategies include a combination of financial incentives and enforcement activities to achieve
immediate conservation benefits.
Program design and evaluation. CCIF works with partners in the foundation, multi-lateral, and
private philanthropy communities to design innovative conservation programs. We specialize in the
design of programs which use entrepreneurial and private sector initiatives to complement traditional
conservation activities.
Program implementation. CCIF implements many of the Conservation Finance and Program
Design solutions through dedicated staff in San Francisco, a strong network of partners and
collaborators, and the CCIF-Asia staff in Bali, Indonesia. The CCIF-Asia program pursues concrete
and measurable milestones in the creation of permanent conservation concessions and technical
support in order to preserve valuable marine resources throughout the Indo-Pacific area. With an
office in Bali, Indonesia, our staff is able to collaborate with international and local conservation
organizations that are most knowledgeable about regional biodiversity and conservation issues and
have the greatest insight into its legal, cultural, and political environment.