1997 was declared the International Year of the Reef (IYOR). The first IYOR campaign was initiated in response to the increasing threats and loss of coral reefs and associated ecosystems, like mangroves and sea grasses. IYOR 97 was a global effort to increase awareness and understanding of coral reefs, and support conservation, research and management efforts.
IYOR 97 proved to be very successful, with over 225 organizations in 50 countries and territories participating, over 700 articles in papers and magazines generated, hundreds of scientific surveys undertaken, and catalyzed conservation and policy initiatives, as well as numerous local and global organizations dedicated to coral reef conservation. More information on IYOR 97 can be found here: http://www.publicaffairs.noaa.gov/coral-reef.html
Recognizing that ten years after IYOR 97 there continues to be an urgent need to increase awareness and understanding of coral reefs, and to further conserve and manage valuable coral reef and associated ecosystems, the International Coral Reef Initiative designated 2008 as the International Year of the Reef (IYOR 2008).
IYOR 2008 will:
- Strengthen awareness about the ecological, economic, social and cultural value of coral reefs and associated ecosystems
- Improve understanding of the critical threats to coral reefs and generate both practical and innovative solutions to reduce these threats
- Generate urgent action at all levels to develop and implement effective management strategies for conservation and sustainable use of these ecosystems.