Located at the very
heart of the “Coral Triangle”(
) its privileged situation away from the main shipping lanes together with the complexity of its coral reefs (mostly improperly charted) has allowed outstanding conservation of the area.
Here at this juncture between the Indian and Pacific Oceans, the area’s strong currents are associated with an upwelling phenomenon (where rich-in-sediment cold waters from the bottom of the sea rise to the surface) therefore encouraging biological exchanges between the waters of the Pacific and Indian Oceans.
Furthermore the numerous protected bays and mangroves provide perfect conditions for the development of a multitude of larvae.
Not only this but the different types of corals identified here by scientists (please see below Rapid Biodiversity Assessments) are not only incredibly diverse but also show features that are totally unique such as in their resistance to global warming and disease. For this reason the Raja Ampat archipelago is considered by marine biologists as a priority area for protection as it could become a “bio-diversity reserve for future generations”.
Indeed and in particular as regard coral, the Raja Ampat Archipelago should be used to “re-sow” worldwide reefs damaged or weakened by El Nino.
Aware of the richness but also of the fragility of the archipelago, the Indonesian Government is currently battling for a registration of the Area as UNESCO Biodiversity Reserve. A registration form has be completed and submitted to UNESCO in February 2005 by the Indonesian Ministry for Environment.
Below are some abstracts (pages from 146 to 250) of the « Rapid Biodiversity Assessments » survey carried out in the Raja Ampat Archipelago by TNC and the WWF: