The health of the Great Barrier Reef is everyone’s responsibility. We recognise the collective effort being undertaken to manage, protect and restore the Reef. Our investments support that work.
We are empowering people to care for the Reef through strong partnerships and collaboration.
The latest science and expert knowledge of our partners drives our decisions.
First Nations people
First Nations people are the Traditional Owners of the Great Barrier Reef area.
We value the knowledge and collaboration from engaging with First Nations people. We are working to support First Nations people to protect the Reef for future generations.
We fund programs that work with First Nations people to restore coastal ecosystems and protect species. This includes more than 100 projects underway on land and sea country.
Read more about how we partner with the First Nations people.
First Nations people projects and programs
We invest in First Nation people activities that support:
- Crown-of-thorns-starfish control
- Reef monitoring and reporting
- Restoration and adaptation
- Healthy water.
We also invest in projects for:
- Coastline management
- Weed and feral animal control
- Indigenous fire management
- Threatened species protection.
Programs we provide funding for include:
- Traditional Use Marine Resource Agreement (TUMRA) program, through the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority
- Queensland Indigenous Land and Sea Ranger (QILSR) Program, through Queensland’s Department of Environment and Science
- Indigenous Ranger Programs, through the National Indigenous Australians Agency
Reef 2050 Traditional Owner Implementation Plan
The Australian and Queensland governments are supporting delivery of a Reef 2050 Traditional Owner Implementation Plan.
Through the Plan, Traditional Owners are leading the design and establishment of a Traditional Owner managed Sea Country Alliance. This will help achieve their aspirations for a ‘Healthy Reef and Healthy People’.
We invest in community Reef projects. Community involvement in Reef protection helps local stewardship and restoration. It has environmental, social, cultural and economic benefits.
Citizen science Reef projects
Citizen science connects communities with science and engages members in data collection and sharing. This increases understanding about the condition of Reef habitats and species.
We fund data collection, reporting and application projects.
Projects build stronger partnerships and support biodiversity and water quality improvements.
Marine debris clean-up activities
Debris impacts the Reef’s beauty, biodiversity, habitats, heritage and cultural values.
We support community clean-ups, education and awareness.
Marine debris can come from both the land and sea. Some contain toxic substances or pests. Common items include plastic bags, bottles, drink cans and fishing gear.
Improving water quality with agriculture industries
Land run-off into catchment areas has a large effect on Reef health. Sediment and nutrient run-off contribute to poor quality. This impacts on the Reef ecosystem.
We invest to support industry and landowners to make positive changes and reduce run-off.
Read more about how we are working together to improve water quality.
We partner with other governments to support regulation, restoration and adaptation activities. We work closely with Queensland government and fund major projects together. We coordinate our efforts to get the most effective outcomes for the Reef.
We also work with our neighbours abroad. We invest, influence and collaborate on Reef and wider climate change efforts.
Industry Independent data validation for fisheries
Fishing is an important activity in the Reef. It gives employment, commercial, recreational and cultural benefits. While fishing is regulated, protected species can be accidentally caught or entangled.
We partner with fishers and fisheries managers across government to ensure sustainable fishing in the Reef. Together we can reduce threats to at-risk marine species.
We are investing in a program to independently validate catch and bycatch data. This will help us understand how fishing activities interact with protected species and how we can avoid and minimise this in future. Transparent data supports industry to show their sustainability credentials to people who buy their product and is part of their responsibility for operating in a World Heritage Area.
This program complements the Queensland Sustainable Fisheries Strategy.
Traceability system for the coral fishery
There is a need to support greater transparency, social licence to operate and sustainability assurance around fisheries within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.
This program will build upon independent data validation. It will design and implement a traceability system for the commercial coral harvest fishery.
This will improve access to information and support Wildlife Trade Operation assessment processes.
It will involve collaboration across government. It will be informed by science and the knowledge and expertise of fishers.