Dear Friends and Colleagues,
On behalf of the officers and council members of the International Society for Reef Studies (ISRS), I am very pleased (and relieved) to welcome you to the updated ISRS website. As the major portal to the Society and our activities, this website will be critical for advancing key initiatives put forward by, and in support of, our members. We also hope our website will become a valuable source of information about coral reefs for the broader international community of researchers, managers, educators, policy makers and stakeholders who appreciate and depend on these remarkable ecosystems. Our members have consistently identified a legacy of vibrant reefs for future generations as our most desired outcome, and ISRS is more important than ever for providing the sound science needed to achieve this goal.
The data are clear – coral reefs worldwide are in serious decline, with associated ecological, economic and cultural losses. Meaningful efforts to address the combined effects of local and global stressors require accurate and adequate information on which to base the policies and guidance necessary for changing the human behaviors responsible for coral reef losses. As a society, we need to move forward on improving efforts to bridge sound science to policy development and implementation. The ISRS leadership wishes to fully engage our members in this task, one that is critically important for the future of coral reefs and those who depend on them.
Kiho Kim has done ISRS a great service in getting this new website online. I encourage all interested members to consider ways we can more effectively and efficiently share our knowledge with each other and with our broader target audiences by adding content and links with educational, policy and management-related information as well as the science that is the foundation of ISRS. We also wish to broaden ISRS membership and participation by engaging individuals from such disciplines as economics and the social sciences that traditionally have not been included under the primary themes of biology and geology.
As ISRS continues to modernize and adjust to emerging needs and opportunities, I hope you will all add to the success of our combined efforts in any ways that you feel inspired to contribute.
Kewalo Marine Laboratory, Hawaii (April, 2014)