As part of our commitment to protect and improve the long-term health of the Great Barrier Reef, the Australian Government will invest $8 million to roll out the monitoring and reporting programme of the Reef 2050 Plan.
Minister Hunt made the announcement today during his intervention at the World Heritage Committee in Bonn.
The Reef 2050 Plan is one of the most important commitments the government has made to protect the Reef now and into the future.
The Integrated Monitoring and Reporting Programme, to be co-ordinated by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA), locks in the commitment to delivery of the Reef 2050 Plan and underpins the vital and ongoing work to protect the Reef.
It will measure and report on the performance of actions towards achieving the plan’s targets, objectives and outcomes – with areas such as the Fitzroy, the Whitsundays and the Burdekin to receive additional monitoring
The steering committee will be co-chaired by the Chairman of the GBRMPA and the Director-General of the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection who will work in consultation with a range of eminent Reef and marine scientists.
The Australian and Queensland governments are working hard to implement the Reef 2050 Plan and this commitment marks another important step in protecting the reef for future generations.
Conditions affecting the Reef are always changing and our actions to protect the Reef need to take this into account. An up-to-date understanding of the condition of the Reef and key risks to its health has underpinned our advice to the World Heritage Committee.
This major four-year investment will enable the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority to ensure we capture the information critical to understanding the health trends of the Reef and the pressures and activities affecting the ecosystem.
It will enable us to assess the effectiveness of on-ground actions and investments to protect and restore the Reef’s values, address threats and ensure development and use of the Reef remains ecologically sustainable.
The Integrated Monitoring and Reporting Programme will monitor biophysical, heritage, water quality, social and economic changes that affect the Reef and use this information to adaptively manage the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.
This programme will help us inform Australians and people around the world about the condition of the Reef. It will provide evidence of our actions to ensure the Great Barrier Reef retains the World Heritage status it deserves.
The Reef Integrated Monitoring and Reporting Programme will be developed collaboratively by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, the Australian and Queensland governments, science, industry and community partners.
The Reef 2050 Plan is supported by the Australian Government’s $140 million Reef Trust and the Queensland Government’s $100 million injection over five years.
We have already made progress against a number of actions in the Reef 2050 Plan, building a strong foundation for success.
This includes the Australian Government’s historic ban on the disposal of capital dredge material in the entire Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area and the Queensland Government’s moves to ban capital dredge disposal in the remaining 3000 square kilometre area that includes port areas, and falls outside of the Marine Park under Commonwealth control.