The 12th International Coral Reef Symposium (ICRS 2012), the world's leading coral reef science conference held once every four years, will begin Monday, July 9, in Cairns, Queensland, Australia. The symposium will bring together 2,000 international scientists, policy makers, managers, and conservationists to present the latest findings on coral reef science and management. To share the knowledge and findings presented during the symposium, daily media briefings will be held for reporters who are in attendance, and accessibility to this information and to coral experts will be provided through an online media portal to journalists worldwide. In addition, journalists will be given daily updates on the groundbreaking presentations in science and management of coral reefs.
The current line-up of daily media briefings, which will include presentations and discussion by scientists and experts in the featured topic areas, follows. Please note: The following media briefing topics are confirmed but actual briefing titles, times and presenters will be announced at a later date. Additional media briefings may also be added.
Monday, July 9
The State of Coral Reefs: Leading coral experts present an overview of the state of coral reefs globally and what it will take to manage them sustainably. Briefing includes a discussion of a Consensus Statement on Climate Change and Coral Reefs signed by thousands of scientists worldwide and the expected outcomes from ICRS2012.
Lessons from the Great Barrier Reef: The best managed reef in the world has experienced many management successes, but it continues to face as many challenges. That's why the Great Barrier Reef today is a World Heritage Area, but is being considered by UNESCO for a designation as site "in danger." What can the world learn from efforts to protect the Great Barrier Reef?
Tuesday, July 10
The Shape of Reefs to Come: What corals will look like in a high CO2 world? The answer is more complicated than it is often portrayed. There will be winners and losers from climate change and ocean acidification. While reefs will not disappear from our oceans, they could potentially look much different and that will have a real impact on the communities that depend on those resources.
Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI) Model for Healthy Reefs: What we can learn from the CTI, a multinational partnership of six nations working together to sustain their extraordinary marine and coastal resources by addressing crucial issues such as food security, climate change and marine biodiversity.
Wednesday, July 11
The Coral Economy: Coral reefs are critical to the trade of live fish for food and to the aquarium and coral retail industries. But can the world's demand for reef species be sustained? Experts explore the cultural and economic drivers of the trade, the impact on coral reef biodiversity and the potential solutions.
Bottom-Up Conservation: While science has taught us much about coral reef management, enlisting the people who depend on the resources most for food and income in management has proven a key element of success. Reports will come from countries that have attempted to combine Western science, traditional practices and community determination in marine resource management. What elements of this are generally applicable across the globe?
Thursday, July 12
The Secret Lives of Baby Fish: New research shows that the early travels of fish larvae provide important lessons on how reefs should be managed, including key questions such as the design of Marine Protected Areas. It will explore how the early life of fish in the ocean provides an indicator to its future and the conservation strategies that need to be taken.
What Big Critters Tell Us: Research presented at the Symposium involving sharks, dugongs and turtles provides critical information about how the ocean is changing and what steps need to be taken to restore and maintain the health of coral reefs.
Journalists will have access to videos of the media briefings, which will be posted following their conclusion, as well as news releases on other research findings presented at the Symposium, high-resolution photos, b-roll video footage, and access to other ICRS events through the ICRS website media page: www.icrs2012.com/Media.htm.
**Please note: Credentialed media planning to attend the Symposium are required to register through the online media portal.
What: 12th International Coral Reef Symposium: www.icrs2012.com
When: Monday, July 9 to Friday, July 13, 2012.
Reef trip: Sunday, July 8, 2012, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Journalists, once registered for the Symposium, will receive an invite to observe and interview leading international scientists and other experts on a trip to the Great Barrier Reef. Seats are limited, so to confirm your spot please RSVP to the invite sent to you once you are registered.
Where: Cairns Convention Centre, Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Who: Experts on coral reefs and climate change, coral reef fisheries, ocean acidification, coral reef diseases, and reef management will be available for media interviews. Only registered and paid attendees and the news media can attend. Credentialed members of the press can register at www.icrs2012.com/Media.htm.
History: The first Symposium was held in 1969 in Mandapam Camp, India. ICRS has grown from participants representing 11 countries to a global scientific event with 2,000 participants from 80 countries. Previously the ICRS has convened at locations including: India, Australia, Japan, the Philippines, Tahiti, Guam, Panama, Indonesia, and most recently in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA in 2008. The research and findings presented at ICRS 2012 will be fundamental to informing international and national policies and the sustainable use of coral reefs globally.
Melissa Lyne: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. + 61 (0)415 514 328
Scott Radway: Honolulu, Hawaii, USA. + 1 808 587 7740
Jacqueline Marks: Silver Spring, Maryland, USA. + 1 301 495 9570