Background and Objectives

Fish swimming through coral reef

In 1995, the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI) called on many nations to commit to increasing research and monitoring of coral reefs in order to provide the data needed to inform policies of nations to sustain coral reefs and to strengthen management.

Global reef monitoring was a major theme when ICRI was launched during the United Nations Global Conference on Sustainable Development of Small Islands Developing States in Barbados in 1994. It was during this time that the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (GCRMN) was established to support ICRI’s Call to Action and Framework for Action.


Today, the GCRMN works through a global network of stakeholders to support the management and conservation of coral reefs and is focused on the following major objectives:

In addition to these priorities the GCRMN also works to:

  • Link people and existing organizations to monitor the ecological, social, cultural and economic aspects of coral reefs within interacting regional networks.
  • Strengthen the existing capacity across all regions for consistent and standard use of monitoring data that will effectively identify trends in coral reefs and will help discriminate between natural, anthropogenic, and climatic changes and allow this information to be compared in meaningful ways.
  • Communicate results as widely as possible about the status and trends of coral reefs, and work with all levels of governance possible to assist communities and environmental management agencies with sustainable use and conservation practices.

GCRMN’s Strategy & Approach