In June, Francis and Tom were in Singapore, for APCRS, the Fifth Asia-Pacific Coral Reef Symposium – a forum for reef scientists and managers to present, discuss and integrate the science and conservation of Asia-Pacific coral reef ecosystems.
From 19 – 23 June, Francis and Tom attended the 5th Asia Pacific Coral Reef Symposium (APCRS) in Singapore, representing the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI) Secretariat. Throughout the week, Francis and Tom, joined by Britta Schaffelke, the Global Coordinator of the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (GCRMN), an operational network of ICRI, engaged with practitioners, coral reef researchers and colleagues to further expand ICRI’s network in the region.
To aid in these discussions, ICRI and the GCRMN had a booth at APCRS, a central point to showcase all of ICRI and GCRMN’s effort including promoting ICRI’s Plan of Action 2021 – 2024; Turning the Tide for Coral Reefs and the GCRMN’s sixth Status of Coral Reefs of the World: 2020 report. During the Symposium, we welcomed the Honourable Minister Desmond Lee (MP), Minister for National Development of the Prime Minister’s Office, Singapore, to the ICRI booth to discuss ICRI’s actions and the possibility of Singapore joining ICRI.
On the 3rd day of the Symposium, Francis and Tom were able to attend multiple Workshops. Francis joined a demonstration of MERMAID – the Marine Ecological Research Management Aid – discussing how the Tool can further support the GCRMN’s effort in collating global coral reef monitoring data. And Tom was invited to speak as part of a panel sessions hosted by the NOAA regarding UN Ocean Decade, focusing predominantly on how international partnerships and networks can strengthen coral reef conservation efforts globally.
APCRS presented an excellent forum to connect with colleagues from the region, to discuss the latest advancements in coral reef restoration, monitoring and management and further extend the Asia-Pacific regional coral community.