Friday 6 July 2012

Coral reef experts experts meet in Cairns for largest symposium

It's the 'Olympics' of coral reef meetings.  The largest gathering of the world’s experts in coral reef science kicks off in Cairns on Monday. By the end of the week, top scientists will have explored some of the most pressing questions in managing the complex changes taking place in coral reefs globally.

The International Coral Reef Symposium is held once every four years, and will bring together 2,000 experts and academics from 80 countries, to share their research and hear the latest developments in coral reef science. More than 1,500 scientific talks and posters addressing major themes will be presented, giving attendees a unique glimpse of the past, present and future of corals globally.

This is the third time the ICRS is being held in Australia, the previous years being 1974 and 1988. James Cook University and the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, are hosting the Symposium.

Coral reefs around the world are declining almost everywhere. The Symposium will cover the full spectrum of coral reef science, with the aim of sustaining reefs, and feature more than 1,500 talks and posters.

Presenters will discuss coral reefs and climate change, ocean acidification, coral reef health and recovery, the role of marine protected areas, managing reefs sustainability and the Coral Triangle Initiative.

The Consensus Statement on Climate Change and Coral Reefs will also be launched during the conference, and urges governments to take action for the preservation of coral reefs.  There are already 2,400 signatures from the scientific community.

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