In December 2019, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority hosted the 34th International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI) General Meeting in Townsville.
Over 90 delegates from more than 40 countries attended the event, which provided an opportunity for the global community to come together to address the key challenges facing coral reefs world-wide, such as monitoring, innovations and harnessing scientific knowledge to improve reef management.
Australia is partnering with Monaco and Indonesia and are co-chairing the ICRI Secretariat until mid-2020, with support from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Through our role as Secretariat, Australia aims to continue to strengthen International Coral Reef Initiative's effectiveness as a mechanism for global and regional collaboration, and continue to build scientific capacity and innovation in reef management in the face of the many challenges coral reefs face globally.
The Authority is a founding member of the initiative that is an informal partnership among governments, international organisations, non-government organisations and the private sector. The initiative contributes to raising awareness on the importance of and threats to coral reefs and related ecosystems, recognising that they are facing serious pressure.
The Initiative was founded in 1994 by eight governments: Australia, France, Japan, Jamaica, the Philippines, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America.
The International Coral Reef Initiative now has almost 80 members and International Coral Reef Initiative actions have been pivotal in catalysing greater international collaboration on coral reefs.
The International Coral Reef Initiative is the major body providing advice to the UN General Assembly and other UN agencies.
The International Coral Reef Initiative strives to preserve coral reefs and related ecosystems around the world by implementing Chapter 17 of Agenda 21, adopted by the international community at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992 and calls for the protection and rational use of oceans, seas and coastal areas.
The Australian Government, again through the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, last hosted the International Coral Reef Initiative Secretariat in 2012-13, in partnership with the Government of Belize.