ICRS 2020

Call for Bids to Host the 14th International Coral Reef Symposium in 2020

The International Coral Reef Symposia (ICRS), held every four years at venues around the world, are designed to advance international understanding and appreciation of the most diverse marine ecosystems on earth, and to strengthen local, regional and international support and cooperation for their wise use, treatment, protection and conservation.

The International Society for Reef Studies (ISRS) is now calling for bids from local groups willing to consider hosting the 14th ICRS, due to be held sometime in 2020. The groups may be large or small, but should include members of ISRS willing to form the nucleus of a Local Organizing Committee (LOC). If practicable the successful bid and host city or location for ICRS14 will be announced at the end of the 13th ICRS (June 2016) in Honolulu.

Bids should be a written document (less than 10 pages) that addresses the following issues:

  1. Venue: The venue should have the capacity to accommodate approximately 2,500 participants, both within a single large plenary hall and in up to 20 or so smaller lecture theatres or rooms during multiple, simultaneous sessions.
  2. Security: The security and safety of the participants will be a key consideration.
  3. Accommodation: A range of reasonably priced hotels, guest houses and other forms of accommodation should be available within a reasonable distance from the venue.
  4. Food outlets: A range of restaurants, cafeteria and other food outlets should be present at or within easy access of the venue, suitable for use by a range of participants including students and attendees with limited financial resources.
  5. International access: It is essential that all nationalities are permitted to enter the host country, and can obtain any required visas and travel documents in a timely fashion.
  6. Budget: Outline a reasonably accurate budget, including details of proposed registration fees, items to be covered by the registration fees (e.g., lunches, refreshments), and anticipated costs for production and distribution of the abstracts and proceedings.
  7. Sponsorship: Describe the extent of anticipated sponsorships by different funding agencies and foundations, specifying any contacts that have already been made.
  8. Payment: A facilitated means by which international participants can pay registration fees etc. is essential.
  9. Scientific program: Outline the variety of anticipated sessions, including plenary sessions and speakers, and a range of smaller sessions spanning the interests of a diverse array of researchers, managers, educators and policy-oriented individuals.
  10. Logistics: Describe likely travel arrangements to and from the host city, within the host city between hotels and the conference venue, and for any social events.
  11. Publication plan: Specify the proposed media, timelines and publisher for the abstracts and proceedings.
  12. Financial support for attendees: Indicate the extent of anticipated financial support available for attendees, particularly students and citizens of developing countries
  13. Pre- and post-symposium field trips: Outline the potential for relevant field or other excursions, including both one-day and longer trips.
  14. Accompanying persons program: Outline any program that could be provided for accompanying persons.
  15. Outreach: Outline arrangements for access to and by the media and local community.
  16. National and local government support: Indicate the nature and extent of anticipated support from and cooperation with local, regional and national agencies.
  17. International and national non-governmental organizations: Summarize the nature and extent of anticipated support from and collaboration with NGOs.
  18. Local Organizing Committee: Outline the likely structure, composition and responsibilities of the organizing committee and any sub-committees.


Responsibilities of the Local Organizing Committee will include:

  • Developing and maintaining a website for announcements, registration, and logistical details.
  • Fund-raising, in cooperation with the ISRS, to support the core costs of the Symposium and related activities, and to encourage broad participation and representation among attendees.
  • Editing, production and distribution of the Program, the Abstracts and any Proceedings.
  • Identifying professional conference organizers able to work effectively with the Local Organizing Committee at reasonable expense.
  • Identifying members of the Local Organizing Committee willing to assume key roles, including the Conference Chairperson, Program Chair, Publications Editor, Treasurer, Field Trip Coordinator, and Media Coordinator.
  • Developing a timetable of Actions and Activities required to be completed leading up to, during and following the Symposium.


Bids to host the 14th ICRS should be sent to the President of the ISRS, Dr. Ruth Gates, by 1st June 2016. Submissions received after this date are not guaranteed to be considered. Electronic/digital submissions are preferred (to: rgates@hawaii.edu), although they may consist of a combination of formats (e.g., Word, jpg and pdf) as most convenient. If printed materials are submitted, 8 copies should be included and sent to: Dr. Ruth Gates, Director, Hawai’i Institute of Marine Biology, University of Hawai'i at Manoa, 46-007 Lilipuna Road, Kaneohe, HI 96744, USA.


Groups submitting bids may be requested to make a short (e.g., 20 minute) presentation to, or participate in discussions with, the selection committee, during the course of the 13th ICRS in Hawai’i.