The GCRMN organised a two day steering committee meeting in Kailua-Kona, Hawai’i, on September 18th and 19th. This meeting was held in conjunction with the 37th ICRI general meeting and marked the first in-person gathering of the GCRMN steering committee since the March 2022 meeting in Monaco. A total of 31 participants, including seven node coordinators or their representatives, took part in the discussions.
The first day of the steering committee was initiated by the presentation of the data task force as well as the description of the process used to produce the next GCRMN Pacific report. Discussions then focused on the GCRMN implementation and governance plan and the composition of the steering committee. Node co-ordinators then shared updates pertaining to their respective regions, offering insights into the forthcoming regional reports. The day concluded with discussions on the integration of socio-economic data from the SocMon program into GCRMN reports.
The discussions on the second day were mainly dedicated to the preparations for the next GCRMN global report. To enhance the discussions, participants were assigned into four thematic groups:
Group 1: Context and audience (“the why”). The participants of this group were invited to think about the objectives and audience of GCRMN reports, including differences in targets between global and regional reports.
Group 2: Delivery (“the how”). The participants of this group were invited to discuss the composition of GCRMN report chapters, the types of text boxes to highlight certain aspects of coral reefs, as well as the format of GCRMN products (report, book, dashboard, etc.).
Group 3: Data (“the how”). The participants of this group were invited to think about the data management approach for the GCRMN, including data sharing, as well as data analyses.
Group 4: Scope (“the what”). The participants of this group were invited to discuss essential indicators to describe the status and trends of coral reefs of the world and to suggest secondary indicators that could be integrated within the reports through local case studies.
The main conclusions from the four breakout groups were then presented. This provided a clearer understanding of the steering committee members’ expected outcomes regarding the next GCRMN global report.
Following a highly productive steering committee meeting, the GCRMN core team will now work on the implementation of several action items. The primary objective of which is to draft a concept note document to produce the next GCRMN global report, outlining fundraising strategies and establishing a timeline. Regarding the data task force, the next steps will include the invitation of additional data scientists from the GCRMN regions and the organisation of thematic webinars about data management and data analysis.