by Reef Check Executive Director Dr. Gregor Hodgson
Reef Check Executive Director Dr. Gregor Hodgson recently attended the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI) General Meeting in Thailand.
ICRI is a unique organization of volunteer members who have agreed to meet on a regular basis to discuss coral reef conservation issues. The participants are representatives from governments and non-profit organizations with an interest in coral reefs. Typically 50 to 100 individuals attend meetings which are held twice per year in different locations. The meetings are open to visitors who would simply like to listen to the open discussions and announcements. In contrast to most international government meetings, there is no formal “treaty” or “convention” to restrict discussions. In addition, no formal negotiations take place allowing a relaxed atmosphere and open debate to take place. Reef Check has been a member of ICRI since its inception and provides regular reports to ICRI on the activities of the organization as well as suggesting resolutions and requests. For example, in 2005, Reef Check suggested that a second International Year of the Reef be held, and this was carried out in 2008. ICRI also offers the invaluable opportunity to coordinate with leaders of the many coral reef programs, projects and initiatives around the world who often are interested to use Reef Check as a tool. At the most recent meeting, RC Executive Director, Dr. Gregor Hodgson met separately with representatives from over 20 organizations to coordinate RC’s partnerships.
For information on the key conclusions and outcomes of the meeting, click here.