Meetings ICRI Meetings

37th ICRI
General Meeting

The 37th ICRI General Meeting will be held in Kailua-Kona, Hawai’i from September 19th – 23rd 2023.

Day 1 – Wednesday 20th September 2023

Listening Session – Learning about the importance of indigenous and local knowledge, values and traditions in reef conservation.

Moderated by:

  • ‘Aulani Wilhelm
  • Kyle Whyte


  • Alexander ‘Alika’ Garcia
  • Troy Johnson
  • Winfred Mudong
  • Ryan Okano
  • Maru Samuels
  • Diwigdi ‘Diwi’ Valiente
Day 2 – Thursday 21st September 2023

Traditional Opening / Oli – Composed by Kumu Keala

General Meeting Opening

  • Christine Dawson, US Department of State
  • Jennifer Koss, NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program

Welcome Videos:

  • Jennifer R. Littlejohn, Acting Assistant Secretary Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, DoS
  • Nicole LeBoeuf, Assistant Administrator for NOAA’s National Ocean Service (NOS)


  • ICRI Secretariat

Presentation and adoption of the Agenda

  • Christine Dawson, ICRI Co-chair

New Member Applications and Presentations

UNEP and coral conservation – A flagship ecosystem under ocean and climate nexus 

Review of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, COP15 and COP16 and NBSAPs 

Recorded messages from UNEP ambassadors:

Reflection of the Listening Session and Next steps

  • Kyle Whyte – Science Envoy for Indigenous and Local Knowledge, U.S. Department of State and George Willis Pack Professor, School

Presentation on the Coral Reef Breakthrough

Strengthening policies – supporting conservation and recovery of coral reefs and associated ecosystems through resilience-based management frameworks

  • Closing of Post-2020 ad hoc Committee
  • Establishment of a new ad hoc Committee focusing on National Biodiversity Strategies and Actions Plans (NBSAP)

ICRI Secretariat Report – (Presentation .pdf)

Member Reports

  • The Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral reefs, Fisheries and Food Security (CTI-CFF), its importance in ICRI and the Development of the Coral Triangle Conservation Fund
    • Mohd Kushairi Bin Mohd Rajuddin, The Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries, and Food Security (CTI-CFF) (Presentation .pdf)
  • Allen Coral Atlas: The Allen Coral Atlas, a Highly Detailed and Globally Consistent Coral Reef Monitoring Platform
  • WWF Coral Reef Rescue Initiative – Innovative Partnerships in promoting Coral Reef conservation for resilient reefs and resilient communities
Day 3 – Friday 22nd September 2023

Day 3 Welcome and Day 2 Reflection 

  • Christine Dawson, US Department of State

Discussion of the Draft Motions

  • Refer to the outcomes section for adopted texts

Promote capacity building for applying resilience-based management approaches to coral conservation

  • Report from the ad hoc Committee and closing
    • Thea Waters, The Reef Authority – The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA), (Presentation .pdf)
  • Adapting management for climate change and First Nations co-management: The Great Barrier Reef Blueprint for Resilience
    • Margaret Johnson, The Reef Authority – The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA), (Presentation .pdf)

Promote and build capacity for the restoration of resilient coral reefs

  • ad hoc committee on reef restoration update
  • Extending the Ad-Hoc Committee
  • Innovations in reef restoration and resilience
    • Theresa Fyffe, Great Barrier Reef Foundation (GBRF) & Britta Schaffelke, GCRMN (Presentation .pdf)

The Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (GCRMN)

  • Report from the GCRMN Steering Committee (Presentation .pdf)
  • GCRMN discussion / Q&A
    • Britta Schaffelke, GCRMN

Review of existing coral reef response plans: presentation and panel discussions

  • Session Facilitators: Erica Towle, NOAA

 Presentation of existing response plans:

  • Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease Lessons Learned and Pacific Preparedness
  • Tackling Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease (SCTLD) in the Caribbean UKOTs
    • Argel Horton, British Virgin Islands United Kingdom Overseas Territory & Jane Hawkridge, JNCC (Presentation .pdf)
  • El Niño forecasting and response to marine heatwave events
  • Coral Bleaching Toolkit and Comprehensive Plan

Panel Discussion:

Facilitator: Erica Towle, NOAA

Session Participants:

  • Caroline McLaughlin, NOAA
  • Erica Towle, NOAA
  • Argel Horton, British Virgin Islands United Kingdom Overseas Territory
  • Jane Hawkridge, Joint Nature Conservation Committee, U.K.
  • Emily Fielding, TNC Hawaii Marine Conservation Director
  • Andrea Rivera Sosa, Coral Reef Alliance
  • Ana Paula Prates, Brazil
  • Alicia Eck-Nunez, Belize
Day 4 – Saturday 23rd September 2023

Day 4 Welcome & Day 3 Reflection

  • Michael Lameier, NOAA

Adoption of the motions

  • ICRI Secretariat and Co-Chairs

Collaborate with indigenous people and seek to incorporate indigenous and local knowledge into policies and management plans

  • Pacific Coral Reef Collective: Sharing challenges facing coral reefs and exploring innovative solutions being implemented to improve reef resilience
    • Margaret Johnson, The Reef Authority – The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA)& Nicolas Rocle, Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), (Presentation .pdf)
  • Reflection on the integration of Indigenous People and Local Communities (IPLC) and Indigenous and local knowledge into ICRI – Local Voices
    • Christine Dawson, ICRI Co-chair

Connect with youth audiences (Chatham House Rule)

  • Presentation of work of Youth Delegation

Panel Discussion


  • Diwigid Valiente and Esther Maina


  • Lexie Sturm, Haley Williams, Karin Moejes, Risla Ibrahim

Reports from ICRI Members

  • Sustainable marine tourism businesses – an unlocked resource for coral reef conservation
  • New challenge on mangrove monitoring and coastal management in Palau
  • International Coral Reef Society: update on activities 2021 – 2023

National Coral Reef Task Forces:

  • French coral reef initiative (IFRECOR) 2022 – 2026 action plan
  • United States Coral Reef task Force (USCRTF)
    • Jennifer Koss, ICRI Co-chair/NOAA & Liza Johnson, U.S. Department of the Interior (Presentation .pdf)
  • The Nairobi Convention Coral Reef Task Force and Tanzania’s efforts to support coral reef conservation in the western Indian Ocean

Upcoming Events

Meeting Documents

Please reach out to the ICRI Secretariat should you wish to have a zipfile of all member reports received to date. This will be updated accordingly.

Outcomes will be developed following the 37th General Meeting .


Please download the ICRI 37 General Meeting Summary Record – here

Adopted Texts

Adoption of the Resolution on the Coral Reef Breakthrough – Download (.pdf)

Adoption of the Terms of reference for an ad hoc committee on integrating coral reefs into National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs) – Download (.pdf)

Adoption of the resolution to extend the ICRI ad hoc committee for coral reef restoration and adaptation – Download (.pdf)

Key Outcomes

  • Acceptance of 6 new members 
    • Arizona State University
    • The Coral Research & Development Accelerator Platform (CORDAP)
    • Coral Restoration Foundation
    • MSC Foundation
    • SECORE International
    • Suganthi Devadason Marine Research Institute (SDMRI)
  • The importance of indigenous and local knowledge, values and traditions in reef conservation
  • Launch of the Coral Reef Breakthrough
  • Ideas for the next GCRMN Global Report
  • Panel session on response plans
  • Development of youth reflections for their inclusion in future ICRI actions and global efforts
  • Creation of a new ad hoc committee on integrating coral reefs into NBSAPs
  • Extension of the ad hoc committee for coral reef restoration and adaptation with new terms of reference
General information

The United States of America will host the 37th General Meeting, with a Welcoming Ceremony on the evening of the 20th September, until September 23rd 2023. This will be the second General Meeting of the United States of America’s third tenure chairing the International Coral Reef Initiative, which will be held in Kailua-Kona, Hawai’i.

The General Meeting will be hosted at the Courtyard by Marriott King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel

ICRI is a global partnership working to preserve and protect coral reefs and associated ecosystems and the 37th General Meeting will bring together ICRI members from around the world face-to-face for the first time since the 34th General Meeting in Townsville 2019 to discuss the achievements of ICRI and members, share knowledge and experiences, and drive the implementation of the 2021 – 2024 Plan of Action: Turning the Tide for Coral Reefs.

Latest News


The ICRI member reports, motions and Agenda are now available.

Key Dates

September 19th 2023

  1. Registration in Ballroom 3 & 4 foyer from 17:00 (HST) – please register to receive your lanyard.

September 20th 2023

  1. ICRI General Meeting commences.
  2. ICRI General Meeting Welcome Reception – Evening.
About Kailua-Kona

Kailua-Kona is located on the island of Hawai’i, one of six major islands in Hawaiʻi: Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, Molokaʻi, naʻi, Maui, and the island of Hawaiʻi. The island of Hawaiʻi is the youngest and largest island in the Hawaiian chain. Nearly twice as big as all of the other Hawaiian Islands combined (hence, its nickname, “Big Island”). The island all but four of the world’s different climate zones here, ranging from Wet Tropical to Polar Tundra, a result of the shielding effect and elevations of the massive volcanoes Maunakea and Maunaloa. From the many geological features at Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park to the snow-capped heights of Maunakea; from the lush valleys of the Hilo and Hāmākua Coasts to the jet-black sands of Punaluʻu Beach, the island of Hawaiʻi is an unrivaled expression of the power of nature.

The Kona District stretches almost two-thirds of the entire West side of the island of Hawaiʻi—from south of ʻAnaehoʻomalu Bay (Waikoloa Beach Resort) to Manukā Park (Kaʻū). Kailua-Kona within the Kona district and hosts Hulihee Palace, a former royal vacation home dating from 1838 and reconstructed thatched houses at Kamakahonu National Historic Landmark mark King Kamehameha I’d residence on Kailua Bay. Rich and diverse coral reefs are located along the coastline of Kailua-Kona contributing to the 4,504 of coral reefs within the Hawai’ian islands (6% of the total Pacific reef area).


Should you have any questions or need more information, do not hesitate to contact Francis Staub

Registration for the 37th ICRI General Meeting has now closed.

If you do not receive the confirmation email or have difficulties with the registration form, please contact us.

Cultural Exchange Site Visit

Date – 20 September 2023

Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park

Along the north Kona coast of Hawai’i, where the deep blue waters of the Pacific Ocean crash upon a shoreline shaped for thousands of years by Madam Pele’s lava flows, is an area where archeological sites are abundant and evidence of traditional Hawaiian activities is still visible today. Here Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park preserves, interprets, and perpetuates Hawaiian cultural heritage providing the Hawaiian people and visitors to Hawai’i Island a chance to connect with the mana (magic or spirit) of traditional native Hawaiian culture. The park is significant because it preserves nearly intact sites associated with traditional native Hawaiians dating from prehistoric times to historic times.

The 1160 acre park, a landscape of rugged lava rock, was at one time a thriving ancient Hawaiian settlement. More than 200 archeological sites document the Hawaiian people’s use of the area over time. These sites possess significant cultural, emotional, and historic values for the Hawaiian people. The Hawaiian people of this ancient settlement harvested fish from the sea and from fishponds they constructed. They grew coconuts, sweet potatoes, and gourds and raised chickens and pigs. Inhabitants of the area created a delicate balance between the sea, the land, and their extended families so that everyone thrived and lived in harmony. Those living closest to the shore harvested fish and other food from the sea, while ohana (extended family) living within the ahupua’a (sea to mountain land division) grew staple resources such as taro, breadfruit, paper mulberry, wood, and fiber for clothing. To ensure everyone’s survival, the ohana would trade these items with one another.

During the Cultural Exchange you will visit:

Aiopio Fishtrap

Dark lava rocks rise up from the waters of Honokohau Beach. They are the remnants of the Aiopio Fishtrap, built by Hawaiians to capture fish. An opening in the trap to the sea enabled fish to enter, and the walled sections of the trap allowed fish to be stored until needed. At high tide, fish entered the trap by swimming through the seaward opening or over the submerged walls. At low tide, the fish were trapped in the enclosure and were easily netted. Fishtraps differ from fishponds in that the fish are trapped and caught, but not raised.


Kaloko Fishpond

The stone walls extending into the crashing surf mark the boundaries of Kaloko Fishpond. This is a loko kuapa, where the stones are dry stacked without the use of mortar to enclose the mouth of a small bay. At Kaloko Fishpond, walls were angled to diffuse the energy of the powerful ocean waves while allowing new sea water to penetrate through the porous lava rocks and circulate about the fishpond. A large sluice gate (makaha) allows for further water exchange with the pond and prevents larger fish from escaping. Fishponds are among the great engineering feats of Hawaiians, nowhere else throughout Polynesia were fishponds so numerous and highly developed. Current efforts are underway to once again enable Kaloko Fishpond to be managed and used for aquaculture.


Anchialine pools

Anchialine pools are unique aquatic ecosystems where water pools in the crevices and cracks of lava near shore. They are made up of brackish water – a mixture of fresh groundwater that comes from the rain on the mountain, filtered through porous lava rock and salt water that is linked to the ocean by subterranean tunnels. Water levels in the pools often fluctuate in response to ocean tides due to the coastal location and connection with the ocean.


Source: Information taken from,

Ridge to Reef Restoration Center – Site Visit

Date – 20 September 2023

The new ʻĀkoʻakoʻa Reef Restoration Program fuses cultural knowledge, advanced scientific tools, multi-modal education, and government service for communities of corals and people of Hawaiʻi Island. With 120 miles (190 km) of reef, the west coast of Hawaiʻi Island is the largest contiguous coral reef in the Hawaiian Archipelago, yet it also harbors a diversity of people, from native Hawaiians to new communities to tourist destinations. A key component of Ākoʻakoʻa is a state-of-the-art coral research and propagation facility, currently under construction at the Ridge to Reef Restoration Center in Kailua-Kona, located at the midpoint of West Hawaiʻi’s 120 mile coral reef.  The coral facility will house 72 state-of-the-art instrumented raceways to support large-scale research into West Hawaiʻi coral thermal and pollution tolerance, reproduction, and resilience.  The Ridge to Reef Restoration Center will also be home to the global Allen Coral Atlas, Hawaiʻi Division of Aquatic Resources Kona Reef Restoration Program, and Terraformation Vegetation Restoration Program.  Ākoʻakoʻa is a shared stage for the integration of cultural practice, management, and science, seeding a deeper connection between coastal and coral communities in an era of climate change.

On the morning of September 20, ICRI is pleased to announce the optional trip led by the Global Center for Discovery and Conservation Science, Arizona State University and Dr. Greg Asner to the new state-of-the-art coral research and propagation facility at the Ridge to Reef Restoration Center located on Kailua-Kona.


The General Meeting will be hosted at the Courtyard by Marriott King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel.

Airport & Travel

Hawai’i Island (or “Big Island”) offers two commercial airports that serve travellers, including Kona International Airport on the west side of the island, and Hilo International Airport. You can find more information on both airports below:

Visa Requirements

Hawaii is a state in the Western United States, about 2,000 miles from the U.S. mainland in the Pacific Ocean. As such, in most cases, a visa is required. A citizen of a foreign country who seeks to enter the United States generally must first obtain a U.S. visa, which is placed in the traveler’s passport, a travel document issued by the traveler’s country of citizenship.

Certain international travellers may be eligible to travel to the United States without a visa if they meet the requirements for visa-free travel.

Details of the process and type of visa that you will require can be found here: 

Citizens of participating countries may travel to the United States for short visits for temporary business without a visa through the Visa Waiver Program. Travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program requires ESTA approval.

Should you require a letter of invitation, contact information will be provide in due course. We recommend all participants apply for their VISAs well in advance


US Dollars ($)



Top 10 things to do on Hawai’i Big Island

Date – 17 – 24 September 2023

Have some extra time? Why not take advantage of the following attractions the Big Island has to offer.

  1. Manta ray Night Adventure – Learn More
  2. Honokohau Harbor Cruises – Learn More
  3. Volcano Village and the Hawai’i volcanoes national park – Learn More
  4. Kohala Zipline – Learn More
  5. Waterfalls – Learn More
  6. Coconut Grove Market Place – Learn More
  7. Hulihe‘e Palace – Learn More
  8. Big Island Parasailing – Learn More
  9. Kona coffee tasting – Learn More
  10. Atlantis Adventures – Learn More
Member Reports
Hosted with support of: