The Arafura and Timor Seas (ATS) are extremely rich in living and non-living marine resources. In 2014 a Strategic Action Program (SAP) to remove the key barriers to sustainable ecosystem-based management of the ATS was endorsed and adopted by the governments of Indonesia, Timor Leste and Australia under the Ministerial Declaration of the Arafura and Timor Seas. The 10-year vision for the ATS and the long-term objective of the SAP is ‘to promote sustainable development of the Arafura-Timor Seas region to improve the quality of life of its inhabitants through conservation and sustainable management of marine-coastal ecosystems’ through recovering and sustaining fisheries, restoring degraded habitats for sustainable provision of ecosystem services, reducing land-based and marine sources of pollution, protecting key marine species and adaptation to the impacts of climate change’.
In October 2014, the GEF approved the SAP implementation project concept for the Arafura and Timor Seas entitled: “Implementation of the Arafura and Timor Seas Regional and National Strategic Action Programs”. This project mirrors the objectives of the SAP to enhance sustainable development of the Arafura-Timor Seas (ATS) region, protect biodiversity and improve the quality of life of its inhabitants through conservation and sustainable management of marine-coastal ecosystems. TierraMar is currently preparing the Marine Biodiversity Profile and all biodiversity components in the subsequent UNDP/GEF Project Document. In addition to the biodiversity profile, this work includes contributions to the Strategic Results Framework; rationale for and detailed description of activities for each outcome and output; detailed budget; applicable GEF tracking tools through situation analysis with extensive and broad stakeholder consultations.