23rd ICRI General Meeting
Dates:Mon, 2009-04-20 - Thu, 2009-04-23
Summary of Key Conclusions and Outcomes
- Revisions to Organization and Management Procedures. In follow-up to discussions during the previous General Meeting in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, streamlined revisions to the ICRI Organization and Management Procedures were approved by the General Meeting. As the most recent version of the procedures was adopted in 2004, a number of the procedures were considered no longer relevant or overly complicated and cumbersome. The revisions include a streamlined motions process, condensing of the financial obligations, and creation of a broad, inclusive view of the operational networks.
- New ICRI Member: Wildlife Conservation Society. The General Meeting welcomed the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)as a new member. WCS is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to the conservation of wildlife species worldwide. It is unique in being able to leverage conservation results on the ground to both educate and inspire the general public. The work of WCS on seascapes and species, scientific monitoring and assessment, and participatory planning for conservation and management, demonstrate a clear linkage to the work of WCS and the goals and objectives of the ICRI partnership. Welcome to the Wildlife Conservation Society!
- Ad Hoc Committee
- Enforcement and Investigation Ad Hoc Committee.
- Amendments to the Terms of Reference. As follow-up to the Ft. Lauderdale, Florida General Meeting, the revised Enforcement Committee Terms of Reference, to include illegal trade in wildlife products to coral reef ecosystems, were agreed by the General Meeting. The Committee will likely create a sub-group to assess how to adopt the CSI protocols to these issues.
- Munitions. It was agreed by the General Meeting that the Secretariat will post to the ICRI Forum the most current information relevant to the issue of retired underwater munitions and their potential effect on coral reef ecosystems. The incoming Secretariat will also consider inviting a speaker to the next General Meeting to further present information on this issue.
- East Asia Regional workshop Ad Hoc Committee.
- Updated Terms of Reference
- ITMEMS-4. The General Meeting agreed to establish an ITMEMS-4 Ad Hoc Committee, which will consist of a core group including representatives from the ICRAN Coordinating Unit (Chair), the current and incoming ICRI Secretariats, GCRMN, SPREP, SACEP and Barbados. The Committee will consider the organization of ITMEMS-4, including content and themes, host and venue location, timing, budget and financing. Resolution on ITMEMS 4.
- Enforcement and Investigation Ad Hoc Committee.
- Member Reports. The Secretariat compiled Member Reports into an over-arching summary presentation for the General Meeting, highlighting activities and initiatives undertaken by ICRI Members and welcoming additional presentations from ICRI Members present at the meeting. The Member Report presentation was organized according to sub-topic of the Member Report (e.g., public-private partnerships, integrated ecosystem management, monitoring or research, live reef food fish trade, and MPAs/new initiatives). The Powerpoint and a compilation summary will be posted on the ICRI Forum.
- Management Group. The GCRMN Management Group met on the margins of the General Meeting to discuss the review of GCRMN, along with its role, structure and future. The minutes from the Management Group meeting will be posted on the ICRI Forum for review; further discussion on this is expected to occur during the next General Meeting.
- Climate change. The General Meeting agreed GCRMN should produce a brochure or brief report for distribution in the lead-up to and during the 2009 Copenhagen Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. The objective of the publication is to provide a summary to influence policy makers and provide supporting information on the threat global climate change poses to coral reef ecosystems. It will stress the economic and cultural values of coral reefs that may be lost with climate change, in particular the impact of increased ocean acidification. In an effort to complement the brochure, a "climate change" section will be created on the ICRI Forum with relevant information. ICRI members are encouraged to contribute to this section.
- Fisheries. Following presentations on key coral reef fisheries issues (e.g., the live reef food fish trade and the food security and coral reef fisheries relationship), the General Meeting agreed that discussions on these matters will carry forward to the next General Meeting, including engagement of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in these discussions. The United States Department of State is supporting a workshop on the Live Reef Food Fish Trade (expected to occur August 2009), to be held as an ICRI Regional Workshop, and anticipates the outcomes will be included in discussions during the next ICRI meeting.
- Recommendations and Resolutions
- Recommendation on Continuing Coral Reef Awareness. The General Meeting agreed to a recommendation recognizing that public awareness is an essential element in coral reef conservation and encourages its Members and other active participants to continue their efforts to carry out the goals of the International Year of the Reef 2008.
- Recommendation on Invasive Alien Species. The General Meeting agreed to a recommendation on invasive alien species, acknowledging their major threat to biodiversity and impact on the marine environment and coral reef ecosystems. The recommendation encourages ICRI Members, networks, other governments, donor agencies, NGOs and the scientific community to strengthen management of coral reefs and associated ecosystems to build resistance to marine bioinvasions, as well as raise awareness and capacity building to address IAS among reef managers and other key stakeholders.
- Resolution on Coral Disease. The ICRI General Meeting recognized the significant threat of coral disease to the health and productivity of coral reefs worldwide and the need to better understand the incidence, causal agents, distribution, impact and global patterns of diseases for informed management of this emerging issue. This agreed resolution calls on ICRI Members to support research to improve the understanding of coral disease prevalence and the vectors by which they are transmitted, to support actions to improve the exchange of coral disease monitoring data, and to establish an Ad Hoc Committee to guide and inform collaborative action on issues of marine disease relevant to coral reef ecosystems.
- New ICRI Forum. The new and improved ICRI Forum was launched during the General Meeting. The new format not only demonstrates an easy-to-navigate site, but has an improved design to enable all speeds of internet connection to access the materials. ICRI members will be requested to provide information on their organization for the ICRI Forum.
- CITES. Following a presentation highlighting the outcomes of a recent U.S.-sponsored workshop on the potential listing of Corallium (red and pink coral) on Appendix II of the Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES), the United States indicated its intent to submit a motion to the next General Meeting on proposals for coral reef listings, and other proposed listings relevant to coral reef ecosystems, to the CITES Appendices.
- Next Secretariat. During a hand-over ceremony, the General Meeting welcomed France as the incoming host of the ICRI Secretariat for the 2009-2011 biennium. France shared an early draft of their Secretariat Action Plan, which will be posted to the ICRI Forum for further opportunity to review and comment in lead-up to the next ICRI General Meeting.
- Next General Meeting. The next General Meeting will likely take place in January 2010 in Monaco, under the incoming Secretariat of France. The Secretariat will inform Members when the schedule is firm.