The ICRS is sanctioned by the International Society for Reef Studies (ISRS) and held every four years. It is the primary international meeting focused on coral reef science and management. The Symposium will bring together an anticipated 2,500 coral reef scientists, policy makers and managers from 70 different nations in a forum to present the latest research findings, case histories and management activities, and to discuss the application of scientific knowledge to achieving coral reef sustainability.
Coral reefs provide essential ecological, economic and cultural services to the people of tropical and subtropical islands and coastal communities worldwide. While scientific knowledge about coral reefs and their structure, functioning and responses to stressors has increased exponentially over the past few decades, the state of reefs globally has declined during this period, at a comparable rate in many places. To address this disconnect, a theme of the 13th ICRS will be “Bridging Science to Policy” with specific goals focusing on:
- Improving trust and communications among scientists, policy makers, managers and stakeholders.
- Developing strong partnerships between political leaders and the scientific community.
- Guiding efforts and strategies for effective allocation of limited financial, human and institutional resources to halt and reverse coral reef decline locally and globally.
- Developing a framework for quantitatively evaluating the effectiveness of coral reef protection and recovery activities and initiatives by applying the best available science.