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e amazed, awed, astounded, by the world’s most spectacular biological province. Few have seen these crown jewels of our animal kingdom. They are all beneath our ocean, nestled within the tropical seas of the Indian and Pacifc

Oceans. The Indo-Australian Archipelago, comprising of Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, the Solomon Islands, and Timor-Leste, form the centre of the region, identifed by marine scientists as the Coral Triangle.

Spanning 6 million square kilometres or just 1.6 percent of the planet’s oceans, the Coral Triangle is home to 76 percent of all known coral species and over 3,000 known coral reef fsh species. The region encompasses, 53 percent of the world’s coral reefs, 75 percent of the world’s mangrove forests, six of the world’s seven species of marine turtles (Green, Hawksbill, Olive Ridley, Leatherback, Loggerhead, and Flatback), more than 22 species of marine mammals and several globally-signifcant commercial fshes. This area sustains over 120 million people and garners more than $12 billion a year from nature-based tourism. The Coral Triangle is the richest province of our natural world.

Marine scientists of many disciplines have affrmed over and over again, that Indonesia is endowed with the greatest diversity of iridescent corals, fshes, crustaceans, molluscs and marine plant species in the Coral Triangle. This is the heartland, the bull’s eye of the world’s richest reefs. Indonesia’s Global Treasures encapsulates the jewels of this amazing biodiversity revealing unique, important creatures that live there, and emphasizes the importance of protecting this environmental treasure. Fortunately, some of these enclaves of high marine diversity are designated as World Heritage sites or protected marine reserves.

The images in this edition celebrate the richness and diversity of Indonesia. While some of them are endemic, found nowhere else in the world, some are rare elsewhere, but found in abundance in Indonesia. I will reveal opulent properties that are unrivalled anywhere in our terrestrial world. The Updown Court of London or Bridgehampton of New York will pale in comparison. We call these places Global Treasures. Indonesia’s Global Treasures aims to foster a greater awareness and appreciation of the splendours of our oceans and inspire preservation. Enjoy!

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