About SACRTF   |   Activities   |  Partners  |   Get Involved   | Event Calendar Home
                                        South Asia Coral Reef Task Force                                

  About South Asia Coral Reef Task Force (SACRTF)

  • The South Asia Coral Reef Task Force (SACRTF) has been established under the South Asia MCPA (Marine Conservation and Protected Areas) project, through funding from the European Union, to facilitate coordination in the management of coral reefs and associated ecosystems at a national level, and to promote collaborative action at the regional level, encouraging trans-boundary responses to shared environmental challenges.

  • The South Asia region was ranked the lowest in the world in terms of declared marine and coastal protected areas in the 2003 United Nations List of Protected Areas. In addition, the inclusion of essential coral reef habitat in MCPA provisions is minimal, making the Indian Ocean, with its wealth of coral reefs, sea grasses, and mangrove forests, perhaps the most poorly protected ocean. As a result, the degradation of coastal and marine resources continues at an unprecedented rate, and despite current protection measures, one third to half of the coral reefs of South Asia are now effectively dead, and a further30% threatened.

  • Governments and key regional experts from 5 countries worked together over the preceding months to finalize the role, purpose and structure of the SACRTF. An official ceremony was held on the 27th July 2007, lead by the Hon. Minister for Energy, Environment and Water, from the Republic of the Maldives, Mr. Ahmed Abdullah, to formally announce and launch the SACRTF.

   Establishment of South Asia Coral Reef Task Force


  • The establishment of the South Asia Coral Reef Task Force (SACRTF) to facilitate the implementation of regional and international initiatives in the management of coral reefs and associated ecosystems, and to promote collaborative action, and transboundary responses to shared environmental challenges, was endorsed by the country governments of the 5 maritime nations of South Asia, at the SACEP Governing Council Meeting in Nepal, in January 2007.

  • Through extensive consultation with key regional stakeholders, the role, mandate and structure of the SACRTF was developed, and the resulting constitution document endorsed by the participants of the second regional resource coordination workshop held on the 25-27 July 2007, in Colombo, Sri Lanka. SACRTF representatives have been selected in accordance with the constitution document and regional nominations. [ More ]

   SACRTF  Mission Statement

To Actively participate in, and support, the effective implementation of existing national regulations, action plans and strategies for the management of coral reefs and associated ecosystems, and to promote the development of strategic linkages for the enhanced regional  cooperation, and the establishment of an effective, networked system of marine and coastal protected areas in the South Asia region.

   South Asia Coral Reef Task Force Partners and Contributions

  • The South Asia Cooperative Environment Programme (SACEP), based in Colombo, is responsible for the coordination of project  activities and is working alongside, the International Coral Reef Action Network (ICRAN), United Nations Environment Programme - Coral Reef Unit (UNEP-CRU), IMM Ltd, and regional partners to conduct project activities.

  • To Advanced Cooperation and coordination for the management of coral reefs and associated ecosystems in South Asia, one of the major anticipated outputs of this project is the establishment of a Regional Task Force Supported by Country level task force in each member country. The Task force will help participating country to work together to safeguard their marine and costal resources and to conserve essential habitats. [More]

   MCPA Project - Institution Strengthening and capacity Development for the long-term Management and

                                  Conservation of MCPAs Encompassing Coral Reef in South Asia

  • Coral reefs have been estimated to provide the world with US$ 375 billion in goods and services annually, which per unit areas, places them among the most valuable ecosystems globally. South Asia is home to 6% of the world’s coral reefs, providing a critical source of food and livelihoods to an estimated 400 million people.

  • Demographic and economic changes have increased demands on marine and coastal resources across the region. Extractive processes for food, income generation, medicines, and building materials degrade coastal ecosystems in many locations and, combined with natural impacts, inflict heavy pressures on the resource base. [More]





The South Asia region is home to a wealth of coral reefs, sea grasses and mangrove forests. Yet, natural and human pressures on the resources are high, and despite the current protection measures, degradation of these resources continues at an unprecedented rate.

ICRAN, the South Asia Cooperative Environment Programme (SACEP), and partners, are working to implement a European Union funded project with the 5 maritime nations of South Asia (Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka), that contributes to a reduction in the rates of marine and coastal biodiversity loss, and protects the natural resources on which the economic and social development of future generations is based.

The project began in 2006, and work is underway in collaboration with country Governments and coastal and marine stakeholders to

  • Improve the management and operation of 5 existing marine protected areas; developing the skills of staff and creating helpful management resources, while encouraging the sharing of best practices with other sites across the South Asia region.
  • Improve communications and data management to and from MCPA sites, and within the wider region, to promote greater understanding and awareness of ongoing regional conservation efforts.
  • Work alongside coastal communities to enhance their livelihoods and develop and assist them to take up more sustainable livelihood activities, moving away from reef degradation. For an update on the most recent activities undertaken by the Coral Reef Livelihoods Initiative (CORALI) please visit www.coralionline.org or view the CORALI Case Studies
  • Establish a task force to promote a regional response to environmental challenges, to improve regional cooperation and coordination of management and conservation efforts, and to assist participating countries to learn from each others experiences.