During the International Year of the Reef in 2018, following back-to-back coral bleaching events in 2016 and 2017, the Australian Government announced investment of $443.3 million in a Reef Trust Partnership with the Great Barrier Reef Foundation (the Foundation).
It is the Government’s largest ever single investment in reef protection, aiming to spark new and innovative responses from private investors and philanthropists. The Foundation is the leading charity for the Reef. The Partnership is boosting the engagement of Australian and international businesses, science, communities, individuals and Traditional Owners in a united effort to keep the Reef healthy.
The Partnership’s comprehensive and innovative approach is complemented by an investment portfolio substantial enough to effect real change. It aims to:
- improve water quality by further improving farming practices, including more efficient fertiliser use, and increasing the uptake of new technology and land management practices ($201 million)
- enable reef restoration and adaptation, by harnessing the best available science and knowledge to fund innovative projects that support Reef resilience ($100 million)
- expand efforts in the fight against the coral-eating crown-of-thorns starfish, including investigating new ways to detect and tackle primary outbreaks ($57.8 million)
- create opportunities for greater engagement of Traditional Owners in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area (up to $51.8 million, which equates to 10 per cent of the value of the Grant Agreement. This includes $12 million under the original grant, plus earmarked funds from across all other components)
- improve engagement by local communities in the protection of the Reef ($10 million)
- improve Reef health monitoring and reporting that tracks progress and informs better management ($40 million).
The funds will be spent by the Foundation over six years from 2018–2019 to 2023–2024 guided by their Investment Strategy and Annual Work Plans. The Foundation are working in collaboration with existing stakeholders including the Queensland Government, the Reef 2050 Independent Expert Panel and Reef 2050 Advisory Committee, researchers, industry, Traditional Owners, local councils and Reef-dependent communities. The partnership is building on and complement existing efforts to implement the Reef 2050 Plan.
The Foundation has set a target of leveraging a further $300 million to $400 million in investment over five years from domestic and international partner organisations and philanthropic donors to complement the Australian Government’s investment. This is set out in the Foundation’s Collaborative Investment Strategy.
The Great Barrier Reef Foundation is a well-respected charity for the Great Barrier Reef, funding solutions through on-ground action, science, technology and engineering to ensure its long-term conservation. It leads the collaboration of business, science, government and philanthropy to create enduring strategic partnerships.
- Great Barrier Reef Foundation website
- $500 million boost for Reef Protection - video
- Half billion dollar landmark Reef funding - Great Barrier Reef Foundation media release 9 May 2018
- Grant Agreement Between the Reef Trust and Great Barrier Reef Foundation - the Grant Agreement was executed on 27 June 2018 and amended by a deed of variation on 29 March 2019
- Reef Trust - Great Barrier Reef Foundation Partnership Grant Guidelines