The Coral Triangle Atlas (CT Atlas) is an online GIS database, providing governments,
NGOs and researchers with a view of spatial data at the regional scale. Data on
fisheries, biodiversity, natural resources, and socioeconomics have been collected
for decades by scientists and managers working in different parts of the Coral Triangle
region. However, to date, little of this information has been aggregated into region-wide
layers to provide an overview and support management planning and decision-making
at a regional level.
Conserving the Coral Triangle
This CT Atlas project will improve the efficiency of management and conservation
planning in the region by giving researchers and managers access to spatial information
while encouraging them to share their data to complete the gaps, therefore reducing
duplicate data collection efforts and providing the most complete and most current
data available. The CT Atlas will be particularly useful in the design and planning
of MPAs and MPA Networks throughout the region.
Thus, the expansion of the CT Atlas project will improve conservation by:
- Giving scientists and decision makers a vision of ecological processes beyond political
- Providing the building blocks to use Spatial Decision Support Systems (SDSS) such
as MARXAN for marine conservation planning.
- Avoiding duplication of efforts, enabling valuable time and resources to be most
The CT Atlas is the first attempt to collate and integrate spatial data at a regional
scale for the coastal and marine regions, resources, and people of the Coral Triangle.
The CT Atlas builds upon previous efforts to compile data at national and sub-national
levels, recognizing the pivotal role of GIS for decision-making and resource management.
Nevertheless, the CT Atlas nevertheless faces challenges in creating a high-quality,
regional-scale spatial database that combines multiple and varied types of data
from diverse sources.
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- Finding the metadata for layers to complete the catalogue and standardize the attributes
so that the layers can be collated
- Overcoming cultural and institutional barriers to information sharing
- Securing funding for a technical product: it falls outside of the usual categories
research, education and outreach
- Complementing existing information portals and national databases
- Garnering support from potential users and meeting their needs
- Developing a long-term plan for reviewing and updating the database in partnership
with ReefBase. A database such as the CT Atlas will only be useful if it maintains
the best and most recent information.