The root causes of the decline in health of the World’s coral reef ecosystems are many and are steadily growing in number. The International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI) has taken up the challenge to halt this decline, and seek to influence and address the management needs of coral reef ecosystems and dependant communities through policy and decision maker channels.
ITMEMS is a key activity of ICRI, and takes place once every four years, representing a unique opportunity for coastal and marine managers and stakeholders, including community representatives, to share their day-to-day experiences managing the marine and coastal environment, inform policy decisions at the local and national levels, and influence the global agenda and other international processes.
ITMEMS 3 took place in Mexico, in October 2006, and combined innovative events with problem solving workshops to seek positive responses to the increasing threats faced, and underscore the interrelationship between conservation and development, and the role of local user communities in managing marine ecosystems.
During ITMEMS 3 a Local Government Leaders Forum allowed leaders the rare opportunity to work alongside managers, scientists, private sector, donors, and NGOs, for a rich and meaningful exchange of views, which lead to the production of an authoritative statement on priorities and means whereby local government can more effectively engage in sustainable management of tropical marine ecosystems. In addition to the forum, a specialised event also offered a unique opportunity to unite participants in a peer to peer speed networking session, that was both a fun and effective way for participants to identify new and useful contacts, and initiate dialogue about their experiences and current projects.
The outcomes and proceedings of ITMEMS 3 can be downloaded from the ITMEMS website: www.itmems.org