ICRI General Meeting 28

The second General Meeting under the Australia-Belize Secretariat was held from the 14-17 October 2013 in Belize City, Belize. Australia and UNEP provided travel support to a number of delegates therefore enabling their participation in the meeting. Over 60 delegates from about 30 countries attended (list of participants). View photos of the meeting.

Minutes of the meeting (PDF File)

New Members

The ICRI Membership welcomed seven new Members:

Ad Hoc Committees

New Terms of Reference were adopted for the Ad Hoc committee on Enforcement & Investigation, the Ad Hoc committee on Economic Valuation of Coral Reef Ecosystems, and the Ad Hoc Committee on Coral Reef Associated Fisheries.

The Ad Hoc Committee on the lionfish invasion in the Caribbean (or Regional Lionfish Committee, RLC) continues to exist under the same terms of reference for now; however the question of embedding lionfish management efforts in existing institutions within the Caribbean still remains. The RLC launched its flagship publication, the Regional Strategy for the Control of Invasive Lionfish in the Wider Caribbean. Next steps for the RLC include helping countries and territories elaborate local strategies based on this regional strategy.

Resolutions & Recommendation

One recommendation was adopted:

Three resolutions were adopted:

Community-based management workshop day

Congruent with on the hosting themes of the joint Australia-Belize Secretariat, a full day of the 28th General Meeting was devoted to the theme of community-based management for coral reef and related ecosystems. The workshop day was divided into two sub-themes: coral reef monitoring (including community-based monitoring); and co-management.

The morning session on coral reef monitoring presented the result of the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network’s (GCRMN) latest report entitled: Status and Trends of Caribbean Coral Reefs: 1970-2012 (the Caribbean report), a major synthesis and analysis of over forty years of data on coral reef condition in the wider Caribbean. Several monitoring programs in the Caribbean were presented (e.g. Ecomar, Healthy Reefs Initiative, AGRRA, CARICOMP, CATLIN), fostering discussions on options, possibilities and ways forward for sound GCRMN monitoring networks in the Caribbean and other regions of the world – including data storage and analysis. Panel discussions commenced at the end of the morning session were continued in a parallel session in the afternoon, focusing specifically on the GCRMN Caribbean Network.

The main findings of the GCRMN Caribbean report were translated into a recommendation on the taking of herbivores, particularly parrotfish (see above).

The afternoon session focused on coral reef co-management approaches, and participants had an opportunity to share experiences and workshop key principles behind sound co-management practices for coral reefs and associated ecosystems, which were then summarized in a resolution (see above resolution on co-management).

Regional initiatives and Operational Networks

ICRI East Asia Initiatives

The outcomes of the 9th ICRI East Asia Regional workshop, held on 9-12 September 2013 in Singapore, were presented. The workshop focused on management effectiveness.

UNEP’s Coral Reef Partnership

UNEP’s Coral Reef Unit presented a refined concept of the ‘Global Coral Coast Partnership’, a support framework for national and regional actions to reduce pressures on coral reefs and related ecosystems which would work primarily through Regional Seas. ICRI members were asked to consider collaborating with the partnership, submit comments and suggestions and approved the participation of the ICRI Secretariat in the partnership as an ex-officio member of the partnership governing body.

Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network

A side meeting was held to discuss governance issues for the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (GCRMN). The main ideas behind of these discussions were reported on the first day of the meeting, and included:

  • Current challenges encountered by the GCRMN, including financial, lack of coordinator and consequential lack of communication with regional networks;
  • The need to secure funding to resolve these challenges, starting with the hiring of a new coordinator
  • The need to clarify the role and composition of the GCRMN governing bodies e.g. the GCRMN Management Group. Terms of Reference for the Management Group were discussed, and will be circulated for further discussion before the end of the Australia-Belize Secretariat tenure.

Parallel discussions held on the revival of the GCRMN Caribbean Network led to the following conclusions:

  • The network shall be named ‘GCRMN Caribbean Regional Committee’ and include a core group of people involved in monitoring (<10) which will be co-chaired by the GCRMN coordinator and a rotating regional member.
  • The membership of this Committee should be identified with the help of local key players with the help of ICRI members and the ICRI Secretariat.
  • The members of this Committee will gather information as geographically assigned, and in turn, provide feedback and support to data providers including on protocol and management.
  • The Committee would meet on a regular basis to assemble data/information and discuss challenges and way forward. The Netherlands offered to host and support a first meeting of this Committee.

It was agreed that although this model would work for the Caribbean region, it would not necessarily be applicable to other regions, which will be approached on this matter to provide comment/suggestions.

Next ICRI hosts

A handover ceremony was held to reflect the passing of the ICRI Secretariat from Australia and Belize to Japan and Thailand (incoming Secretariat). The tenure of the incoming Secretariat will start on 1 April 2014; the two co-hosts will hold secretariat duties for two years.

Mr. Naoki Amako (Japan) receiving the ICRI Coco de Mer from Dr. Russell Reichelt (Australia)Mr. Naoki Amako (Japan) receiving the ICRI Coco de Mer from Dr. Russell Reichelt (Australia)


Monday 14th: Day 1
Session 1: Opening and membership
Opening and welcome
Presentation & adoption the agenda
Welcome new members and observers, including opportunity for response from:
Session 2: Reports from ICRI bodies
Presentations on Members’ Reports Reports:


Updates from Ad Hoc Committees
Reports from regional initiatives
Session 3: ICRI governance
Updating the ICRI "Call to Action", "Framework for Action" and Administrative Procedures
GCRMN Governance arrangements - presentation (PDF File)
Wrap-up and close
Tuesday 15th: Day 2 - Workshops
Session 4: Monitoring
Workshop #1: "Coral reef monitoring (including community-based monitoring)"
Session 5: Co-management
Workshop #2: "Community based management (including co-management)" 
Wednesday 16th - Day 3 (All Day): Field trip
Thursday 17th - Day 4: General business
ICRI communication tools - presentation (PDF File)
ICRI Small Grants Report - presentation (PDF File)

ICRI input to CBD workplan on coral bleaching - presentation (PDF File)

Decision adopted by the conference of the parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity at its eleventh meeting - XI/18 -Marine and coastal biodiversity: sustainable fisheries and addressing adverse impacts of human activities, voluntary guidelines for environmental assessment, and marine spatial planning (PDF File)

GCRMN Regional activity
Monitoring work and databases in the Dutch Caribbean (including Lionfish reporting App) - presentation (PDF File)
Meeting reports:
  • 2nd Global Conference on Land-Ocean Connections, Oct. 2013 - Presentation (PDF File)
  • Panamerican Coral Reef Congress, Oct. 2013
IFRECOR sponsorship strategy (presentation, PDF File)
Session 7: Meeting outcomes
Adopted documents from the meeting
Session 8: The future
Coming events of interest to members (presentation, PDF File)
Summary of Australia/Belize Secretariat activity - presentation (PDF File)
ICRI Secretariat handover ceremony
Presentation by incoming ICRI Secretariat hosts - presentation (PDF File)
Closing remarks

Press coverage: Plus Belize TV news coverage of GM28


Morning session: GCRMN Caribbean report findings and community-based monitoring
Welcome & introductions, outline and objectives of morning session
ICRI Secretariat (Australia)
GCRMN Caribbean report: the journey, findings and implications for management
Prof. Jeremy Jackson / Prof. Jorge Cortés Núñez
Monitoring for management #1: a local example of community-based monitoring (presentation, PDF file)
Linda Searle, ecomar Belize
Monitoring for management #2: an example of regional collaborative monitoring in Mesoamerica  (presentation, PDF file)
Melanie McField, Healthy Reefs
Monitoring for management #3: the AGRRA network (presentation, PDF file)
Judith Lang, AGRRA
Monitoring for management #4: CARICOMP and how scientific monitoring can feed into management decisions (presentation, PDF file)
Prof. John Ogden, CARICOMP / Prof. Jorge Cortés Núñez
Discussions of implications of the GCRMN report for the Caribbean Network
Chaired by: Prof. Jorge Cortés Núñez and Angelique Brathwaite
New tools for reef monitoring: CATLIN Seaview
Manuel González-Rivero, UQ
Storing and analysing data: the realms of possible. Presentation of a prototype database (presentation, PDF file)
Michael Kaminski, OTB Spatial
Discussion panel: Monitoring for management: options, possibilities and ways forward in different regions of the world
Panel: Jorge Cortés Núñez, Judith Lang, Linda Searle, John Ogden, Michael Kaminski, Manuel González-Rivero (chaired by Jeremy Jackson)
Afternoon session: community based management/co-management(*)
Outline and objectives of afternoon session
ICRI Secretariat (Belize)
Co-management arrangements: lessons learnt from Belize (presentation, PDF file)
Beverly Wade, Belize
Co-management arrangements: opportunities in Grenada
Roland Baldeo, Grenada
Interactive exercise (break-out groups): how can co-management work in your country? What are the principles behind them that could make it work? Break-out sessions
Presentation of findings (5 minutes each) Group leaders

(*) Note: a parallel session to discuss the strengthening of the GCRMN Caribbean Network will be held with key players from 1400 to 1600 in Caracol.

The second General Meeting under the Australia-Belize Secretariat will be held from the 14th to the 17th of October 2013 at the Radisson Fort Hotel and Marina in Belize City. There will be a cocktail reception at 6.30pm on the first night.


Belize map

Latest news

  • Meeting dates announced: October 14-17, 2013 at the Radisson Fort Hotel and Marina in Belize City
  • List of accommodation provided

Key dates

  • 8 August – Registrations open with initial draft of the agenda
  • 6 September – Deadline for posting ‘motions’ (template Word doc)
  • 16 September – Deadline for registrations, Members’ Reports (template Word doc), comments on draft agenda
  • 7 October – Final agenda posted
  • 14 October – Meeting commences

Visa requirements

No visas are required for citizens of Australia, the United States of America, Canada, the United Kingdom and most European countries for stays under 30 days(a valid passport is required) . For additional travel/visa information, please contact your country’s local Belize Consulate or Embassy.