To learn more about the World Wildlife Fund’s Coral Triangle Initiative and their current conservation efforts,

The Coral Triangle is the epicenter of ocean biodiversity—an incredibly rich aquatic environment that harbors 75 percent of all known coral species, some 3,000 species of reef fish, and six of the seven known species of sea turtles. These waters, at the intersection of the Indian and Pacific Oceans directly to the north of the Australian Continent, are also vital spawning grounds for tuna, grouper, and countless other commercially important fishes.

Dr. Lida Pet-Soede heads World Wildlife Fund’s Coral Triangle Initiative, to help safeguard this precious marine environment, widely known as the “Amazon of the ocean.” Born and educated in The Netherlands, Dr. Pet-Soede now lives in Indonesia with her husband, Jos, and their two young daughters.

“A large part of my motivation comes from wanting to share the beautiful ocean environment with my two girls,” she says. “I want to be an active part of leaving them and other kids, especially kids here in the Coral Triangle, with a healthy ocean full with fish that will sustain them and communities around the world long into the future.”

Local communities depend on the marine life in the Coral Triangle for their subsistence and commerce. Working with constituencies to replace wasteful and destructive fishing practices with sustainable approaches is a key strategy of Dr. Pet-Soede’s team. This project seeks to protect a critical spawning-aggregation and nursery site near Koon Island.

“Koon is under threat from commercial and subsistence fishing,” Dr. Pet-Soede says. “We must protect the fish-spawning aggregation and the reefs around the island so that the biological processes can continue undisturbed.”

Funds from this campaign will go toward compensating the community for establishing this site as a protected area and for their pledge to prevent outsiders from fishing in these productive waters.

“The success of this innovative approach of involving the fishing communities in the solution may prove transformative in protecting the waters of the Coral Triangle, where conventional Marine Protected Areas have been difficult to enforce," argues Orvis CEO Perk Perkins, who visited the area last year with a delegation from World Wildlife Fund, which has declared the area a global priority.