A major proportion of coral reefs around the world occur in developing countries. The status of these resources is declining, while these countries simultaneously face major challenges in sustainable development for their people. Reef conservation in SIDS cannot be approached in the same way as conservation in more developed countries, such as Australia or French territories, even though the tools such as Marine Protected Areas (MPA) may be effective for both situations. One of the main differences relies on the widespread inability of government services within SIDS to ensure adherence to legal frameworks aimed at protecting the reef resources from irreversible depletion. The Government of France has invited a wide range of other agencies (South Pacific Regional Environment Programme, Conservation International, WWF, United Nations Foundation and several scientific agencies) to join in developing a programme to address the root causes of coral reef degradation in South Pacific countries. This US$ 10 million project over 3 years will address a series of issues indicated by Pacific countries, with an emphasis on MPA implementation, integrated coastal management, development of coral reef resources (aquarium trade, ecotourism, marine active substances), rehabilitation of coral reef ecosystems and setting up of a regional reef database. A particular focus will be put on the integration of human factors (anthropology, socio-economics) for insuring the success of the actions developed on the ground, but also in the wide dissemination of the project outputs at a regional level. The integrated approach will rely on the dual involvement of land and marine issues, protection and development issues, community based and highest institutional level issues, existing tools (such as MPAs) and innovative ones (such as environmental information systems EIS, including human and cultural factors). The project will be focussed in Fiji, Vanuatu, Samoa, Cook Islands, Kiribati, French Polynesia, Wallis and Futuna and New Caledonia with the active involvement of other Pacific countries (Papua New Guinea, Niue, Tuvalu). The concepts behind CRISP draw on the recommendations of the International Coral Reef Initiative and partners, ICRAN (International Coral Reef Action Network) and GCRMN (Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network) and specifically seek to find Pacific solutions to regional problems.