The Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan was released in 2015. The Plan was updated in 2018 following a mid-term review and again in 2021 following its first 5 yearly review in 2020.
The Reef 2050 Plan is the overarching strategy to improve the Great Barrier Reef’s health and resilience. It guides the delivery of coordinated local, national and global action in key areas.
A 3 year comprehensive strategic assessment was undertaken to develop the plan. The assessment examined the status and trends of the Reef’s environmental values. It also considered the Reef’s Outstanding Universal Value. This is the values for which the Reef was World Heritage listed in 1981.
The assessment reviewed how Reef values are protected. It assessed how values can be supported while considering sustainable development. It also looked at the many other uses of the Reef.
We also engaged a consultant to undertake an independent review. They reviewed institutional and legal mechanisms related to the Plan.
The Plan is reviewed every 5 years. This is part of the Plan’s adaptive management approach. It ensures the Plan remains current, addresses emerging issues and is informed by the latest knowledge and science.
In 2018, a mid-term review of the Plan was completed and an updated Plan was released. This ensured the Plan addressed the increasing pressures the Reef was facing, including climate change.
The first five-yearly review of the Plan was completed in 2021. In December 2021, with Queensland government, we jointly released an updated plan.
The updated Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan 2021-25 has a greater focus on climate change. It also has increased reflection on, and inclusion of, First Nations people aspirations.
The original plan and updated plan were informed through consultation. This was undertaken with leading experts and the Australian public.
Consultation to develop the original plan
Preliminary public consultation was undertaken between 1 November 2013 and 31 January 2014. This was part of the comprehensive strategic assessment process.
Extensive consultation on the original Plan was then undertaken from 15 September 2014 to 27 October 2014. We gained input from key organisations, the public and community groups. The Plan's objectives, targets and actions were also considered by relevant experts.
The outcomes of the consultation process informed revision by the Partnership Group. The plan was considered by the Great Barrier Reef Ministerial Forum in late 2014.
The plan was submitted to the UNESCO World Heritage Centre in March 2015. It was considered at the 39th session of the World Heritage Committee later that year.
Consultation for the 5 yearly review
With Queensland governments, we invited Australians to have their say on the draft updated Plan as part of the 5 yearly review. There was a 6 week public consultation period that closed on Wednesday 30 September 2020.
The outcomes of this consultation informed the finalisation of the updated Reef 2050 Plan.
The Reef 2050 Plan Public Consultation Summary Report provides information from the consultation. It also includes government response to feedback
Reef 2050 Plan Public Consultation Summary Report (PDF - 854.24 KB)
Reef 2050 Plan Public Consultation Summary Report (DOCX - 166.69 KB)
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