6th International Tropical Marine Ecosystems Management Symposium (ITMEMS)

Healthy reef, wealthy ocean

The upcoming 6th International Tropical Marine Ecosystems Management Symposium (ITMEMS 6) will be held in Manado, (Indonesia) between the 14th-17th of April 2020 under the theme ‘Healthy Reef, Wealthy Ocean'.

ITMEMS is a core activity of ICRI and has been convened by ICRI Secretariats in 1998 (Australia), 2003 (Philippines), 2006 (Mexico), 2009 (Guadeloupe) and 2016 (Philippines), with the involvement and participation of ICRI members. To read more about previous ITMEMS see here.

ITMEMS 6 will focus on coral reef management challenges and their possible solutions. The objective of this symposium is to explore approaches in sustainable coral reef management and their related ecosystems.

We are currently developing the programme and we welcome suggestions on topics you would like to see included in this symposium.

In the interim if you would like more information, please contact Claire Rumsey and Fegi Nurhabni.

Latest news:

Registration for ITMEMS 6 is now closed, thank you for your interest in participating.

Descriptions of sessions have been added

Trainer biographies have been added


ITMEMS 6 is being sponsored by Indonesia, Australia, the Allen Coral Atlas, and the Government of Sweden.


Proposed schedule:

  • Tuesday 14th (Day 1) - Joint opening ceremony with the National Conference of Coastal Management, parallel sessions
  • Wednesday 15th (Day 2) - Parallel sessions
  • Thursday 16th (Day 3) - Parallel sessions, closing ceremony
  • Friday 17th (Day 4) - Post-symposium fieldtrip to Bunaken National Park

Topics will include:

For more information on ITMES 6 read and download the Ad hoc committee report here.

A field trip will take place on Friday, April 17th to the Bunaken National Marine Park, North Sulawesi, Indonesia. The park was founded in 1991 and covers 89,065 hectares. 97% of which covers the marine environment and the remaining 3% is terrestrial.

Bunaken National Park is located in the centre of world's coral triangle, and features roughly 11,700 ha of coral reefs, 2,434 ha of mangroves and 5,108 ha of seagrass beds. There are also over 2000 species of reef fish, more than 200 species of molluscs, and eight species of marine mammals. 

The park is managed by the Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry.

About Manado

Manado is the capital city of the Indonesian province of North Sulawesi. Manado is located at the Bay of Manado and is surrounded by a mountainous area. The city had 675,411 inhabitants at the 2010 Census, making it the second-largest city in Sulawesi after Makassar.


The opening ceremony will be held at the Novotel Manado Golf Resort & Convention Center. 

The venue for the symposium will be the Coral Triangle Information and Learning Center/CTI-LC known as CTI Center (CTI-CFF).


The nearest airport is Sam Ratulangi International Airport (MDC) in North Sulawesi, 13 kilometres northeast of Manado.


For information on Visas, and to see if you are from a Visa-exempt country see the Indonesia travel website.
It is recommended that should you need a Visa for entry this is applied for before entry into the country.


Daily high temperatures are around 87°F, rarely falling below 84°F or exceeding 91°F. Daily low temperatures are around 74°F, rarely falling below 73°F or exceeding 76°F.


The currency in Indonesia is Indonesia Rupiah.


The main language is Bahasa Inodnesia.


  • Innovative Funding

Katy Mathias- Wildlife Conservation Society 

Katy Mathias combines experience in finance, nonprofit management, resource mobilization, performance measurement, and governance in her role as Conservation Finance Project Manager for the Wildlife Conservation Society. She is the co-author of the annual Conservation Trust Investment Survey (CTIS) study of the investment management practices of Conservation Trust Funds (CTFs), project manager of the educational programs related to the CTIS, and serves as a consultant to conservation trust funds on governance, resource mobilization, organizational effectiveness and risk management. She also focuses on broader conservation finance efforts to increase available funding to biodiversity conservation and protected areas, and to build capacity in conservation finance, for both WCS field programs around the world and outside organizations. From 2015-2017 she led the Secretariat of the Conservation Finance Alliance through an institutional transition.
Katy earned a Masters in Public and Private Management from the Yale School of Management, with concentrations in Strategy and Finance, and a Bachelors Degree in Political Science from Tufts University. She has over 20 years of experience in management and finance, having served as a consultant to for- and not-for-profit organizations in organizational effectiveness, executive compensation, performance measurement & analysis, and project effectiveness. She lives in the State of Washington (US) and currently serves on two nonprofit Boards of Trustees.


  • Sustainable Tourism

Samantha Craven- The Reef-World Foundation

Sam is the Programmes Manager for The Reef-World Foundation; the UK charity which coordinates the Green Fins initiative internationally in partnership with the UN Environment Programme. She graduated with a First-class honours in Marine Biology, achieving a distinction in her Masters in Applied Marine Science and gained extensive field biology and conservation education experience in Asia. Sam joined Reef-World full-time in 2014 and, since then, has helped take Green Fins' grassroots work to new heights. Sam has also worked to coach and mentor early-career conservationists through professional development programmes and was selected as a Kinship Conservation Fellow in 2016. An avid diver herself, Sam heads up Reef-World's implementation team across 11 countries (and counting!) around the world. Having witnessed first-hand the degradation of marine resources and dived some of the best coral reefs in the Asia-Pacific, she believes the right information and tools can empower communities around the world to have a significant, positive impact on their natural ecosystems and coastal habitats. Sam has been pivotal to establishing Green Fins as a proven conservation approach for managing local threats posed by marine tourism.


  • Coral Reef Restoration Planning and Practice

Jason Philibotte-NOAA's Coral Reef Conservation Program

Jason Philibotte is a Certified Project Management Professional and Program Evaluator with 20+ years of experience managing multi-disciplinary science-based international and national conservation programs. He has 10+ years working globally with NOAA's Coral Reef Conservation Program including the Coral Triangle and Pacific regions and the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force. He has extensive experience developing and implementing strategic plans, tracking budgets, fund raising, grant writing, and evaluating projects in coastal resource management. Jason has strong interpersonal and cross-cultural communication skills, developed through extensive international and domestic project experience. He has led capacity building trainings global for leadership development, strategic planning, climate change assessment, stakeholder engagement, consensus building, coral reef management and monitoring, and marine spatial planning. Experience promoting international coral reef conservation efforts through multinational and partnership approaches with federal agencies and foreign governments, including coral resilience and climate change strategies, and has international project experience in Micronesia/Freely Associated States, Coral Triangle, Samoan Archipelago, Vietnam, wider Caribbean, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Colombia, Fiji, Belize, and the Pacific.

Ximena Escovar-Fadul- The Nature Conservancy

Ximena Escovar-Fadul is The Nature Conservancy -TNC's Cuba Program Manager. With several years implementing conservation projects and ocean research in Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Colombia, Ximena has extensive experience working closely with local partners to contribute to regional-scale conservation efforts. Ximena has extensive experience leading multidisciplinary projects particularly in coral conservation and restoration, environmental economics valuation, and fisheries management in the Caribbean. She is an interdisciplinary scientist with a B.S. in ocean sciences from Universidad de los Andes - Bogotá, Colombia and a M.S. in Environmental Policy from University of Pennsylvania. Currently Ximena leads TNC's coral restoration and conservation work in Cuba and supports the Dominican Republic coral program. Ximena has led several citizen science expeditions to Cuba and the Caribbean, is a PADI diving instructor and AAUS scientific diver.

Ian McLeod-Centre for Tropical Water and Aquatic Ecosystem Research

Dr Ian McLeod is the Assistant Director for the Centre for Tropical Water and Aquatic Ecosystem Research and a Principal Research Scientist at James Cook University. His research focuses on marine and coastal habitat restoration, ecotourism, coral reef ecology, climate change impacts on the marine environment, and land-based effects on coastal waters. Ian is a theme leader in the Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program and leads the Federally-funded project ‘Best practice coral restoration for the Great Barrier Reef'. He is passionate about science communication and owns a media company called Cinematic Science.


  • Strategic Communication

Petra MacGowan- The Nature Conservancy

Petra is responsible for leading the global capacity building efforts of the Network and managing implementation of the NOAA-Coral Reef Conservation Program/TNC partnership to support the efforts of coral reef managers and conservation partners in Florida, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Hawai‘i, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and Guam to protect and sustainably manage their coral reefs. Previously, Petra worked for the State of Hawai‘i Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) where she managed the State's coral reef conservation strategies including the planning and implementation of marine managed areas in the Main Hawaiian Islands and the development of community-based management initiatives to enhance enforcement efforts statewide.


  • Utilizing new mapping technologies to enhance coral reef management and monitoring

Helen Fox- National Geographic Society

Dr. Helen E. Fox is a Senior Director at the National Geographic Society, leading Field Engagement for the Allen Coral Atlas. A coral reef ecologist by training, she has > 20 years' experience working at the boundary of science and conservation, > 10 of those as Director of Marine Science at WWF-US. Her areas of expertise include links between marine protected area (MPA) management and governance, ecological impacts, sustainable fishing, and human well-being; monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL); grant-making, strategic planning, communication, and capacity development, with geographic focus in Indonesia and the Coral Triangle. Helen received her Ph.D. in Integrative Biology from UC Berkeley in 2002, investigating coral reef recovery and rehabilitation from blast fishing. She has received numerous grants and awards, authored >40 scientific publications, logged > 1,000 dives, and once lived underwater for 10 days in the Aquarius habitat.


  • Live Reef Food Fish Trade

Yvonne Sadovy- Univeristy of Hong Kong

Yvonne Sadovy was a Professor at the University of Hong Kong School of Biological Sciences and Swire Institute of Marine Sciences for 25 years and a marine biologist for over 30 years. Before 1993 she worked in Puerto Rico, Caribbean, as Director of the government Fishery Laboratory. She is interested in the interaction between species' life history and exploitation patterns and their relevance for the conservation and management of fish species that are particularly vulnerable to overexploitation, like the groupers and Napoleon Fish. She works in both source and destination countries, and with fishers, biologists, traders and government officials for legal and sustainable trade in coral reef fishes. She is co-founder and Director of an NGO (www.SCRFA) to safeguard fish spawning aggregations and founder and co-chair of the IUCN Groupers & Wrasses Specialist Group.


  • Introduction to Marine protected Areas

Marathen Welly- Coral Triangle Center (CTC)

Marthen is CTC's Marine Conservation Advisor and focuses on three key areas: government relations at the regional level, national and provincial levels; MPA policy, regulations and outreach. He also has a technical role at the Center for Marine Conservation with two key components: training and outreach with dive and boat operators and promoting and implementing sustainable marine tourism activities in MPAs. Marthen was the Field Learning Sites Manager since 2011, managing all learning site activities. This includes all Nusa Penida MPA management support and on-site training activities, as well as the design, development and management planning support to the emerging Banda Islands MPA network and potential Atauro learning site development in Timor Leste. Marthen joined CTC from The Nature Conservancy, where he worked since 2002 in various roles, including the NGO Liaison Program Officer for the Marine Program, the Outreach Program Officer, Communication & Outreach Specialist, and since 2008 as the Nusa Penida Project Leader. Before Marthen joined TNC, he worked at the Environmental Education Center (PPLH) Bali as Marine Division Coordinator. In 2000, he was the national coordinator for Jaring Pela - an Indonesian network of 127 NGOs focused on coastal and marine issues. Marthen has more than 10 years of experience in marine conservation. He is co-founder for Yayasan Bahtera Nusantara in Bali, a member of the Board of Advisors for Yayasan Taka in Karimunjawa-Semarang, and a member of the Instructor Council for Association of Diving School (ADS) Indonesia. He obtained a bachelor's degree from the Faculty of Fisheries and Marine Science of the Bogor Institute of Agriculture (IPB).

I Nyoman Suardana- Coral Triangle Center (CTC)

Nyoman began his career as database administrator in the private sector. His expertise in Microsoft Excel, Geographic Information System (GIS), database and system development and his love of nature led him to expand his career to coastal and marine resource management in 2010 with The Nature Conservancy - Indonesia Marine Program. In 2011 he was promoted to Conservation Database Specialist. His projects include developing a Ticketing and Finance Management System for a joint venture company; setting up a Marine Protected Area Database and Information System for Indonesia and a Marine Protected Area Monitoring and Evaluation System in partnership with the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries - Species and Area Conservation Division. Nyoman has more than 10 years of experience in Statistic Data Processing and reporting in various sectors, including health, finance, and tourism. He has a wide range of skills in system programming and database management. He is also an active blogger and Boy Scout senior. Nyoman's main role in CTC is to lead MPA Design with GIS training and Marine Spatial Planning training; he is also in charge of IT Administration and System Management.