We are investing in projects to support the Reef to adapt to a changing environment. These projects are utilising the latest science and research to build the Reef’s resilience.
We are also rehabilitating Reef habitats to restore previous damage. This helps to minimise harm and vulnerability to future impacts.
Read more about some of the projects below or read the full list of Reef Trust projects.
DESCRIPTION: Three boats race across an open ocean.
NARRATOR: It’s a race against time.
DESCRIPTION: The camera dives under the waves, showing a vibrant coral reef full of life and activity. Marine life of all kinds swim through the camera view. The view splits in half to show a new scene on the right: a barren, bleached, and algae-infested reef with pieces breaking off and no marine life.
NARRATOR: Climate change is impacting the health and future of our coral reefs and the important marine life they support. Their survival depends on cutting edge research and development.
DESCRIPTION: A test-tube containing water, a beaker containing a coral, and a microscope, appear one by one on a blue screen representing science and technology. A diverse team of scientists and engineers appear in front of them, proudly standing with light beaming up behind them.
NARRATOR: Visionary reef restoration and adaptation projects bring together the world’s best marine scientists, technology, and engineering.
DESCRIPTION: The screen is split in three showing scenes of engineers developing tools and equipment, researchers discussing workflow, and promising research results in the form of graphs and charts.
NARRATOR: Together, they’re working to create effective, affordable, and scalable tools, methods, and solutions…
DESCRIPTION: A close up of the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Queensland. The camera zooms out to show a world map highlighting all of the reefs of the world. Two scientists and researchers stand in front of the map discussing the various reefs.
NARRATOR: …that will help the Great Barrier Reef and coral reefs around the world to resist, adapt to, and recover from the impacts of climate change.
DESCRIPTION: A triangle chart split in three appears, labeled “Protect”, “Adapt”, and “Restore” with correlating icons. Each icon takes its place at the top as the narrator mentions them.
NARRATOR: Innovative projects are being developed across the 3 areas of protection, adaptation, and restoration.
DESCRIPTION: A flatbed boat with a mister sends mist up into the air. The camera zooms out slightly to show how the mist shades the ocean from the sun. An icon appears showing a temperature gauge that starts out full but drops down to a reasonable level.
NARRATOR: For example, creating a mist to shade reefs from the sun may help prevent them from overheating due to climate change.
DESCRIPTION: A scientist is in a lab surrounded by pieces of coral in tanks of water. A map showing the Great Barrier Reef off the shore of Queensland appears on their right. They pick specific pieces of coral out of the samples with tweezers and place them in their tray. The map shows targets representing where those pieces can be seeded for maximum effectiveness.
NARRATOR: Seeding reefs with coral species of the Great Barrier Reef better suited to warmer waters, grown in onshore aquaculture, can help the Reef to adapt.
DESCRIPTION: Back underwater, we see man-made structures on an empty patch of seabed that are slowly growing coral reef over time. The structures become fully covered with coral reef and the surrounding area fills with life.
NARRATOR: And providing man-made structures that promote coral reef settlement and growth can help restore already damaged reefs.
DESCRIPTION: The Australian Government and Reef Trust logos appear on screen. They become smaller as icons representing “Develop”, “Test”, and “Safety” show up beneath them.
NARRATOR: Projects funded through the Reef Trust Partnership develop, test, and ensure the safety of innovative interventions.
DESCRIPTION: The camera focuses in on the Reef Trust logo and follows the swirling blue waves that flow out. Various icons appear on the waves representing industry, community, and education.
NARRATOR: The results will flow on to sustain tourism, jobs, our economy, and the livelihood of millions.
DESCRIPTION: Back under the waves, we see the ocean full of life. Scuba divers swim through lively coral reefs and various marine life. The scene is bright and vibrant.
NARRATOR: Let’s work together to ensure the Great Barrier Reef and the world’s coral reefs can adapt and remain resilient to climate change for our present and future generations to enjoy.
DESCRIPTION: The Australian Government logo, Reef Trust logo, website URL, blue tang fish, and a clown fish appear on screen.
NARRATOR: Visit our website to find out more about the Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program and see how you can help.
Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program (RRAP)
RRAP is the world’s largest effort to help an ecosystem survive climate change.
It brings leading experts together to investigate new ways to help coral reefs resist, adapt to and recover from the impacts of climate change.
It is creating options to help the Reef recover and adapt to a changing environment. RRAP does this by undertaking research, development and deployment of innovative solutions.
We fund RRAP with the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, philanthropy and research providers.
Research and development
RRAP aims to provide scientifically-proven, safe, acceptable and cost-effective interventions. While solutions are focused on the Reef, they could help reefs around the world.
Some of these innovations include:
- Marine cloud brightening to make clouds to cool the water underneath.
- Seeding reefs with coral larvae that are more resilient to warmer waters.
- Supporting natural restoration of damaged reefs.
Research and development subprograms work together to improve Reef restoration and adaptation. These subprograms include:
- Stakeholder and Tradition Owner Engagement.
- Cooling and Shading.
- Coral Aquaculture and Deployment.
Read more about specific RRAP subprograms.
Building Reef Island Resilience
The Reef ecosystem includes approximately 1050 islands. This includes coral cays, continental islands and mangrove islands. These islands are home to unique flora, fauna and are critical to the life cycles of many species.
We fund initiatives to restore and rehabilitate critical habitats and protect species on Reef islands. This is addressing current threats, enabling habitat recovery and building resilience to future threats.
Reef Islands Initiative
The Reef Islands Initiative is run by the Great Barrier Reef Foundation. It is the largest reef rehabilitation project of its kind in the southern hemisphere.
The Initiative is working with Traditional Owners, local communities and local businesses. It is helping to protect and restore Reef Islands in the face of a changing climate. This includes at Lady Elliot Island, the Whitsundays and Avoid Island.
The Initiative combines science and local knowledge with on-ground and in-water actions. It is building resilience for Island habitats, wildlife and surrounding communities.
Learn more about the Reef Islands Initiative.
Blue Carbon Initiatives
We are funding initiatives to support restoration, conservation and accounting for blue carbon ecosystems in the Reef and its catchments.
Blue carbon is coastal and marine ecosystems that capture carbon. They include mangroves, seagrasses, and tidal marshes. They support marine life, contribute to coastal livelihoods and provide protection from storms.
Blue carbon ecosystems also absorb carbon from the atmosphere and store it in their soils, roots and plants. This helps address climate change impacts.
The $204 million Reef funding announced in 2022 will support projects to restore blue carbon ecosystems in the Reef and its catchments. These projects will involve partnerships with local communities and Traditional Owners.
Other blue carbon initiatives include the Australian Government’s National Environmental Science Program (NESP). NESP funds practical research to inform environmental and climate decisions and policy.
The NESP Marine and Coastal Hub supports science for Australia’s marine and coastal environments. This includes Reef projects focused on blue carbon ecosystems. The projects involve improving water quality and building partnerships to improve stewardship.
International Partnership for Blue Carbon
Australia supports other nations to improve and understand the management of coastal blue carbon ecosystems.
Australia leads the International Partnership for Blue Carbon with fifty partners. This includes government agencies, non-governmental organisations, intergovernmental organisations and research institutions.
The Partnership supports a shared vision to protect global blue carbon ecosystems.
Read more about Coastal Blue Carbon Ecosystems.
Investing to grow partnerships
The health of the Reef is everyone’s responsibility. No one organisation can solve these challenges alone. Our actions are driven by the latest science and expert knowledge of our partners. We are identifying innovative financing opportunities to attract greater private sector investment. Developing partnerships is part of our funding to restore and support adaptation on the Reef.