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.
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.