Australia’s work in protecting oceans from climate change and other impacts was highlighted at an event at the Paris climate change conference today.
The event showcased three regional initiatives to protect oceans – the Coral Triangle Initiative, the Micronesia Challenge and the Caribbean Challenge.
Australia has long supported the Coral Triangle Initiative for Coral Reefs, Fisheries and Food Security, investing over $13 million to date.
Today I can announce that in the latest round of funding Australia has signed grants totalling $1.2 million for work to deliver regional benefits.
This includes developing a regional brand for coral triangle ecotourism, bringing economic benefits and supporting sustainable marine resource use, and supporting the member countries to collaborate on integrated management of priority sea regions.
Regional initiatives such as the Coral Triangle Initiative can turn commitment into action. They help to get finances, ingenuity, information and expertise flowing to where it is most needed.
As a co-chair of the Green Climate Fund board, Australia is advocating for the needs of countries particularly vulnerable to climate change.
Regional initiatives can play an important role in Green Climate Fund investments. The Secretariat for the Pacific Regional Environment Program was one of the first organisations accepted by the fund board as an implementing partner.
Australia also talked about its work at home on oceans and climate change, particularly in managing and protecting the Great Barrier Reef – for which Australia has been hailed as a global role model by the World Heritage Committee.
Our Reef 2050 Plan has set the framework to manage, protect and improve the condition of Reef with investment of $140 million to improve water quality and a ban on capital dredge disposal in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.
Through this event and our support for initiatives such as the Coral Triangle Initiative, we are sharing Australia’s world leading expertise and experiences.
We are consulting with Coral Triangle countries this week on a regional turtle program which will build collaboration between two regional organisations – the Coral Triangle Initiative and Secretariat for the Pacific Regional Environment Program.