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.
DESCRIPTION: We are under the waves of the ocean, looking at a vibrant coral reef. It is full of marine life and activity. A clown fish swims close into view.
NARRATOR: The Great Barrier Reef needs our help to survive, and we can all help.
DESCRIPTION: A map of Australia split into the states and territories is in view. The Great Barrier Reef is outlined in black as graphics appear, listing its area and length.
NARRATOR: Covering an area of over 348,000 square kilometres, along 2,300 kilometres of Australia’s coastline…
DESCRIPTION: We zoom in as outlines of Victoria and Tasmania are placed next to the Great Barrier Reef to compare sizes.
NARRATOR: …larger than Victoria and Tasmania combined, the Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest living organism.
DESCRIPTION: Back under the waves, we see a wide array of species of reef marine life swimming together.
NARRATOR: It is home to a breath-taking array of thousands of interdependent marine species.
DESCRIPTION: A farmer with their back to us looks from the tractor rolling in from the left over green fields, to the right where there are organized fields of harvest. The camera continues to pan over scenes of factories with chimneys, cars, cities, houses, a light house, and fishing boats. Finally, we land on a globe with an icon of a thermometer with a rising temperature, indicating the oceans are getting warmer.
NARRATOR: Human-induced climate change, and activities such as land clearing, farming, tourism, fishing, and industry, all have an impact on the health of the Reef.
DESCRIPTION: Back to the map of Australia, zoomed in on an outlined Great Barrier Reef. Icons representing scientists, business leaders, family leaders, community leaders, and government spokespeople pop up all over the map. A Traditional Owner appears in a larger central circle.
NARRATOR: Management and stewardship of such a vast and complex ecosystem requires diverse skill sets and knowledge, and innovative science and technology. And Traditional Owners and their knowledge play an essential role.
DESCRIPTION: The circles expand and show the full bodies of all the people holding hands. Underneath them show the words “Collective Action”.
NARRATOR: But we also need greater collective action.
DESCRIPTION: Back under the ocean, a dugong swims by and turns into the logo of the Reef Trust. The Australian Government logo also appears, with the words “Local Action and Stewardship” under both.
NARRATOR: Funding delivered through the Reef Trust is being invested to accelerate local action and stewardship of the Reef.
DESCRIPTION: Icons for community, business, tourism, farming, fishing, traditional owners, and government form a row under the Australian Government and Reef Trust logos. The bottom half of the screen is split into several even sections, rotating around clockwise, showing different scenes: a farmer planting wetland, community beach cleanup, fishers managing crown of thorns starfish reproduction, urban water quality, Master Reef Guide educating children, and citizen scientists.
NARRATOR: By supporting partnerships between communities, businesses, tourism, scientists, farmers, land holders, fishers, Traditional Owners, and local government, we’re helping hands-on reef restoration, protection, and adaptation projects to flourish. Our actions are driven by…
DESCRIPTION: Scientists in a laboratory are examining coral in fish tanks and coral under a microscope.
NARRATOR: …the latest scientific information and expert knowledge…
DESCRIPTION: A First Nations person’s hands holding three baby sea turtles appear over beach sand. As ocean water flows over the hands and turtles, the turtles are released into the sea.
NARRATOR: …collaboration with First Nations peoples to create lasting opportunities to connect and care for their sea country, and protect the Reef for future generations…
DESCRIPTION: The camera pans from left to right over multiple scenes. First, we see a Master Reef Guide showing a picture of a turtle to children on a wharf with a reef tour boat on the ocean in the background. Then, a hand holding a phone browses social media for reef-related social media posts. Finally, we see a person speaking to a group of attentive adults pointing to a map highlighting the Great Barrier Reef.
NARRATOR: …targeted education and stewardship such as citizen science projects and grass roots campaigns to improve understanding of reef habitats and species…
DESCRIPTION: A variety of people work together picking up debris along the beach and putting it in trash bags.
NARRATOR: …and supporting on-ground marine debris cleanups and habitat restoration.
DESCRIPTION: Back to the close-up map of the Great Barrier Reef. Zooming out, we see all of Australia filled with a mix of people representing tourism, business, community, family, and a Traditional Owner. The Great Barrier Reef begins to sparkle and all the people look happily toward it.
NARRATOR: The Great Barrier Reef is at the heart of the Reef’s Traditional Owner’s lives - an important ecosystem that supports tourism, jobs, our economy, and the livelihood of millions. It is of great national significance to all Australians.
DESCRIPTION: Back at the lively coral reef, we see a wide variety of marine life and activity. On top of the waves is a small tourism boat with a Master Reef Guide educating the passengers. A snorkeler gives us an “ok” hand signal.
NARRATOR: Let’s work together and strengthen our collective action to protect the Great Barrier Reef for our present and future generations.
DESCRIPTION: The Australian Government logo, Reef Trust logo, and website URL appear. A clown fish and sea turtle swim underneath them.
NARRATOR: Visit our website to find out more about partnerships and stewardship and see how you can help.
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.