This is the first report of the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (GCRMN), formed in 1996 as an operational network of the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI). The catalyst for GCRMN was the inability of international agencies to report objectively on the health or otherwise of the world’s coral reefs. The US government then provided initial funding to set up a global network of coral reef workers to facilitate reporting on reef status; and has continued to be the major supporter of GCRMN and ICRI since the first strategies and action plans were developed in 1995.
The united goal is to inform the global community on the status of coral reefs, the threats to them and, importantly, to list recommendations to improve coral reef conservation. There is widespread recognition that action is needed urgently, not only to conserve the enormous biodiversity on coral reefs, but also to assist local user communities to improve their livelihoods by ensuring the sustainable use of the reefs.