Bridging Science to Policy

ICRS Impacts, Outcomes and Progress

Please check the new Impacts/Outcomes section for progress from ICRS 13. News and information will be posted on topics and issue stemming form the scientific program, meetings and discussion that took place in Honolulu of 2016.

The 13th International Coral Reef Symposium (ICRS)

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.

ICRS In The News

A Preview of the ICRS - Caring About Coral” An interview with Bob Richmond, Ruth Gates and Mark Hixon on ThinkTechHawaii on Thursday, 31 March 2016.

Theme: “Bridging Science to Policy”

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:

  1. Improving trust and communications among scientists, policy makers, managers and stakeholders.
  2. Developing strong partnerships between political leaders and the scientific community.
  3. Guiding efforts and strategies for effective allocation of limited financial, human and institutional resources to halt and reverse coral reef decline locally and globally.
  4. Developing a framework for quantitatively evaluating the effectiveness of coral reef protection and recovery activities and initiatives by applying the best available science.

About the ISRS and ICRS 2016

The world's major coral reef science meeting, the International Coral Reef Symposium (ICRS), is held every four years.

The sanctioning organization is the International Society of Reef Studies.

  • Founded in 1980, ISRS is the largest society of reef scientists in the world, with over 800 members.
  • The principal objective of ISRS is to promote the production and dissemination of scientific knowledge and understanding of coral reefs, both living and fossil, for public benefit.
  • The ISRS publishes Briefing Papers and Statements about the state of coral reefs for the benefit of the wider community.
  • ISRS produces and distributes the quarterly scientific journal Coral Reefs containing peer-reviewed scholarly works on the geology, biology, ecology, and environmental issues regarding the world's coral reefs.
  • ISRS holds annual meetings, sponsors biannual conferences, prints and distributes the newsletter Reef Encounter, and supports students through fellowships.

The ICRS is devoted to the best reef science available, with the purpose of sharing scientific findings with government agencies, resource management, and non-government organizations throughout the world.

Previous ICRS have been held in Cairns (Australia) (2012), Fort Lauderdale (2008), Okinawa (2004), Bali (2000), Panama (1996), Guam (1992), Australia (1988), Tahiti (1985), the Philippines (1980), Miami (1977), Australia (1974), and the 1st ICRS in India (1969).

The ICRS 2016 is important because it provides the international science community with a platform to:

  • Increase global knowledge and interest in coral reefs, including sustainable use and conservation strategies;
  •  Showcase successful science, conservation and management efforts;
  • Develop collaborations and partnerships to increase international capacity to address coral reef issues; and
  • Increase global awareness of reef degradation and possible solutions by extensive promotion in the media.