The International Tropical Marine Ecosystem Management Symposium (ITMEMS) is a flagship activity of the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI). Convened previously in Australia (1998), the Philippines (2003) and Mexico (2006), ITMEMS aims to strengthen the capacities of coastal and marine managers to conserve and promote the sustainable use of coral reefs and related ecosystems. The Government of France generously hosted the 4th ITMEMS (ITMEMS4) on behalf of the ICRI Secretariat, in Guadeloupe from 5-‐8th December 2011.
The goal of ITMEMS4 was to ‘strengthen the capacities of participants to address management challenges in the local context’. ITMEMS4 sought to combine practical activities with training to bridge identified gaps in knowledge and experience. Building on the lessons and successes of previous ITMEMS, five core-‐learning elements were selected as fundamental components of the ITMEMS4 technical programme to support attainment of the above objective:
- Knowledge and experience exchanges – providing space for participants to share management experiences and to learn from each other/share knowledge from other disciplines;
- Exposure to emerging science/technology – relating current or emerging science and building capacity to access and apply this information in differing contexts;
- Evidence-‐based approaches, tools and resources – helping managers to tap into existing tools and resources and understand how they are being/can be applied and for what benefit;
- Partnerships and network development – helping managers to access existing learning networks and partnerships, and identifying and building linkages to networks and partnerships that will support learning and management beyond ITMEMS4;
- Communications and behavior change – encouraging participants to develop and access relevant messages and materials to help give voice to their priority issues;
- Symposium Report
- Participant list
- Technical agenda
- Mentor Biographies
- Management challenges and suggestions for pratical training. The information below was gathered from ITMEMS4 application forms which asked prospective participants to indicate the primary management challenges that they face and to indicate the type of practical training that they would find most beneficial.