Reef Restoration Ad hoc committee

An ad hoc committee on reef restoration was created in response to disturbances affecting coral reefs, in particular thermal stress-induced global mass coral bleaching events and the current climate forecasts predicting that sea temperatures will exceed the thermal tolerances of corals, at the 33rd ICRI General Meeting (Monaco, December 2018).

The objectives of the ad hoc committee were to:

  • Assess and document global needs and priorities for current and future reef restoration and adaptation programs.
  • Assess and document global research and development priorities to deliver the methods, productivity and cost breakthroughs needed to support restoration and adaptation program objectives.
  • Identify the mechanism(s) to improve joint planning and delivery of reef restoration and adaptation research and development.
  • Identify opportunities to partner on reef restoration and adaptation research and development activities.
  • Identify opportunities to fund a small team to coordinate the activities of the Working Group and collate and report outcomes and other outputs.

In December 2019, at the 34th ICRI General Meeting, in Townsville, Australia, a resolution to extend the ICRI ad hoc Committee on coral reef restoration and adaptation research and development was adopted.

Australia completed the first phase of the Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program (RRAP), which evaluated the feasibility of an array of potential interventions and delivery methods to assist the Great Barrier Reef to recover from major disturbances and adapt to a changing climate. The recommendations arising from the RRAP can help coral reefs worldwide. In parallel, the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) conducted a review on ‘Interventions to Increase the Resilience of Coral Reefs’.

The approved amended terms of reference are:

  • To continue to assess and document global needs and priorities for current and future reef restoration and adaptation programs;
  • To continue to assess and document global research and development priorities;
  • To provide a coordinating mechanism for international collaboration on coral reef restoration research and development;
  • To advocate for the use of best practice restoration techniques and highlight examples of relevant policy and legislation as part of a broader strategy that involves traditional management and reducing carbon emissions in order to maintain coral reef function, structure and resilience;
  • To facilitate the transfer of new knowledge of restoration techniques to managers and restoration practitioners; and
  • To update the global database on coral restoration methods and integrate it with the ICRI website, if resources are available.

The ad hoc committee will last not more than one year, with the final report to be presented at the 35th ICRI General Meeting.

Also, following the work of the ad hoc committee, a resolution to update the 2005 ICRI resolution on artificial coral reef restoration and rehabilitation (PDF File).


  • Chairs: Ian McLeod, David Souter
  • France: Aurore Leocadie, Sylvain Pioch, and Mathieu Pinault
  • Monaco / CSM: Didier Zoccola
  • Australia: Amanda Brigdale, David Wachenfeld
  • Indonesia: Firdaus Agung
  • Japan: Tadashi Kimura, Mariko Kimura
  • SPREP: Peter D., Franck Connan
  • Reef-World: Chloe Harvey
  • International Coral Reef Society (ICRS): Anastazia (Ania) Banaszak
  • UNEP-WCMC: Hazel Thornton
  • United States of America / National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: Jason Philibotte, Jennifer Koss
  • UN Environment: Gabriel Grimsditch, Ahmed Mohamed
  • ICRI Secretariat: Francis Staub

Related documents:

Additional Resources:

The Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program brings together Australia’s leading experts to help preserve and restore the Great Barrier Reef.

Researchers at James Cook University are working with coral reef experts from around the world in a project which aims to provide advice on best practice coral restoration for the Great Barrier Reef (GBR). The first step is a global review of what has worked overseas. 

The Coral Restoration Consortium (CRC) is a community of practice comprised of scientists, managers, coral restoration practitioners, and educators dedicated to enabling coral reef ecosystems to survive the 21st century and beyond.

The available knowledge of coral restoration methods has been synthesised in a review paper, incorporating data from the peer-reviewed scientific literature, complemented with grey literature and a survey of coral restoration practitioners.