International Year of the Reefs 2008

We CLEARLY have reefs! The reefs off Sisters Islands are visible on a clear water day2008 is the International Year of the Reef (IYOR), celebrated worldwide to raise awareness about the value and importance of coral reefs and threats to their sustainability, and to motivate people to take action to protect them.

IYOR was first declared 10 years ago in 1997 and a decade later, IYOR is back! This time, Singapore will be celebrating along with 50 countries around the world to celebrate our reefs! In fact, all the reef-loving groups in Singapore have come together to dedicate 12 months of round the year events to celebrate the amazing coral reefs we have in Singapore! All are welcome to participate in these events and to submit to the IYOR Singapore executive committee any related projects that they would like to add on the IYOR calendar of events! More details can be found in the Events section.

Stunning reefs are still found especially on undisturbed shores such as Raffles Lighthouse

Background information

The first IYOR campaign in 1997 was initiated in response to the increasing threats and loss of coral reefs and associated ecosystems, like mangroves and sea grasses. IYOR 97 was a global effort to increase awareness and understanding of coral reefs, and support conservation, research and management efforts.

IYOR 97 proved to be very successful, with over 225 organizations in 50 countries and territories participating, over 700 articles in papers and magazines generated, hundreds of scientific surveys undertaken, and catalyzed conservation and policy initiatives, as well as numerous local and global organizations dedicated to coral reef conservation.

Recognizing that ten years after IYOR 97 there continues to be an urgent need to increase awareness and understanding of coral reefs, and to further conserve and manage valuable coral reef and associated ecosystems, the International Coral Reef Initiative designated 2008 as the International Year of the Reef (IYOR 2008).

In the year 2008, IYOR aims to:

  • Strengthen awareness about the ecological, economic, social and cultural value of coral reefs and associated ecosystems
  • Improve understanding of the critical threats to coral reefs and generate both practical and innovative solutions to reduce these threats
  • Generate urgent action at all levels to develop and implement effective management strategies for conservation and sustainable use of these ecosystems

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