ISRS Conservation Committee

Following the Society's active promotion at the Climate Change Conference in Paris (CoP21) of measures to limit global warming ISRS Council approved the formation of a formal Conservation Committee. The Conservation Committee's Terms of Reference may be downloaded here.

As a first task the Committee developed a Briefing Document on the threat to coral reefs in the South China Sea being generated by political disputes in the region. This document  "Coral Reefs of the South China Sea - a Need for Action" may be downloaded here.

The Committee is now addressing further selected conservation issues including Reef Restoration policies and techniques and the Impacts of Sunscreens on Corals. The Committee has also promoted the recognition of 2018 as the next International Year of the Reef (IYOR3) (see below),  and proposed ISRS's recent afilition to the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI) (also see below).

Any member interested to have a reef-related conservation matter considered by the Committee is welcome to contact the chair ( or any other member of the Committee. However, given limitations of time and resources, it may not be possible for the Committee to investigate or campaign on every issue drawn to its attention. The Conservation Committee's Approved Criteria for Action may be downloaded here.

The members of the ISRS Conservation Committee are:

Sue Wells (chair) – Independent Consultant, 95 Burnside, Cambridge, UK (email:

Kazuo Nadaoka (ISRS Council Member), JAPAN (email:

Stacy Jupiter (ISRS Council Member) - Wildlife Conservation Society, FIJI (email:

Aileen Maypa (ISRS Council Member) - Institute of Environmental and Marine Sciences, Silliman University, Dumaguete City, PHILIPPINES (email:

Lisa Rodrigues (ISRS Council Member) - Geography & the Environment, Villanova University, Villanova, Pennsylvania, USA (email:

Stephanie Norman - Marine-Med (Marine Research, Epidemiology & Veterinary Medicine), Bothell, Washington State, USA (email:

David Obura - CORDIO (Coastal Oceans Research & Development – Indian Oceans) East Africa, Mombassa, KENYA (email:

Gal Eyal (student rep) - Tel-Aviv University & Interuniversity Institute for Marine Sciences, Eilat, ISRAEL (email:

Jesse Bergman (student rep) - California State University Northridge (CSUN), USA

Ryan Eagleson (student rep) -  Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Cambridge, Ontario, CANADA (email:




2018 – Third International Year of the Reef (IYOR3)

Following a Palau motion at the ICRI General Meeting, 2018 has been designated the 3rd International Year of the Reef. English, French and Spanish language versions of the motion are available at: and

The previous IYORs took place in 1997 and 2008 and contributed significantly to raising public awareness and triggering a wide range of management, policy, research and conservation actions for reefs.

IYOR3 will provide an opportunity to create the critical mass of public attention needed to provide a tipping point that will activate the global, regional and national resources required for the fundamental policy and behavioural changes necessary to reverse current practices that are leading to coral reef loss. Awareness-raising will be the central goal of IYOR3 but activities will also extend to strategic outreach in order to challenge decision-makers, influence policies, and involve the private sector.

As it's contribution to IYOR2018 ISRS is launching a new initiative "Ten Things YOU Can Do to Help Save CORAL REEFS" -  full information about which is given on the next page.


The International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI)

ICRI is an informal partnership between governments and organizations which strives to preserve coral reefs and related ecosystems around the world.   Its objectives are to: (a) encourage the adoption of best practice in sustainable management of coral reefs and associated ecosystems; (b) build capacity and (c) raise awareness at all levels on the plight of coral reefs around the world.

ICRI was initially set up by eight governments (Australia, France, Japan, Jamaica, the Philippines, Sweden, UK and USA) and was launched at the First Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity in 1994 when the threats to reefs began to become a global priority. It now has over 60 members.  The ICRI Secretariat is hosted by State members, on a voluntary basis, usually for two years at a time; the current host is France. The Secretariat progresses ICRI’s objectives through a Plan of Action and organizes General Meetings at least annually.

Current ICRI priorities, adopted at the 31st ICRI General Meeting (Paris, November 2016) include:

  • Helping to address the issue of pollution of the marine environment by plastic microbeads pollution
  • Supporting the implementation of IYOR3
  • Helping to develop a global network for reef monitoring
  • Addressing the decline in coral reef health due to global bleaching events - ICRI has set up an ad hoc committee on climate change and organized a ministerial (France and Australia) press conference on coral reefs at the 22nd Conference of the Parties (COP 22) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change
  • Contributing to the implementation of international commitments, especially of resolution 2/12 on sustainable coral reef management (UNEA-2).

For more information please see the ICRI website at:, or contact Francis Staub at the ICRI Secretariat (