How the Reef is managed
- Managing multiple uses
- Marine Monitoring Program
- Eye on the Reef program
- Water quality in the Great Barrier Reef
- Science for management
- Tourism on the Great Barrier Reef
- Recreation on the Great Barrier Reef
- Fisheries in the Marine Park
- Field Management of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park
- Managing Commonwealth Islands
- Register of management arrangements
- Douglas Shoal environmental remediation project
- Managing for a resilient Reef
- Strategic assessment and 25-year management plan
- Great Barrier Reef Outlook Report
Reef 2050 Long-term Sustainability Plan
- Reef 2050 Long-term Sustainability Plan
- Reef 2050 policies
- Reef 2050 Integrated Monitoring and Reporting Program
Threats to the Reef
- Climate change
- How climate change is affecting the Reef
- What does this mean for species?
- Climate change impacts on microscopic organisms
- Climate change impacts on marine plants
- Climate change impacts on corals
- Climate change impacts on fish
- Climate change impacts on marine mammals
- Climate change impacts on marine reptiles
- Climate change impacts on seabirds
- Climate change impacts on seabed dwellers
- What does this mean for habitats?
- What does this mean for communities and industries?
- Climate Change Action Plan 2012-2017
- Current conditions on the Reef
- Coastal development and protecting the Great Barrier Reef
- Declining water quality
- Extreme weather
- Remaining impacts from fishing
- Marine debris
- Climate change
Reef 2050 policies
The findings of the Great Barrier Reef Outlook Report and the Strategic Assessment of the Great Barrier Reef Region are clear.
Impacts on the Reef are compounding over time and space, diminishing the Reef’s ability to recover from disturbances.
Greater reductions of threats at all levels — global, reef-wide, regional and local — together with actions to improve the Reef’s health and resilience, are required to prevent the projected decline in the Reef’s health.
These policy documents set out a comprehensive and systematic approach for how stakeholders can work together to achieve these outcomes.
The Cumulative Impact Management Policy and the Net Benefit Policy complement each other by providing guidance on how to reduce threats and improve the Reef’s resilience in the context of continuing climate change pressures. They set out principles and steps to guide their practical application. They’re about everyone working together to protect the Reef.
These policy documents form part of the Reef 2050 Plan’s adaptive management approach. Their effectiveness in reducing the risk of threats and improving the condition of values will be evaluated and reported on as part of the Great Barrier Reef Outlook Reporting cycle.
All stakeholders can contribute to the reduction of impacts on the Reef and this policy provides guidance on the range of impacts affecting the Reef, the scale at which impacts are occurring and tools to assess and manage impacts.
Adoption of this policy at planning, assessment and approval, monitoring, evaluation and reporting phases for decisions and activities within and adjacent to the Reef will ensure threats to the Reef are addressed in a systematic and consistent manner.
The policy does not propose an assessment of cumulative impacts for individual decisions or activities where the cumulative impacts have been considered in overarching plans or assessments, and where decisions/activities are consistent with these plans or arrangements.
The steps in cumulative impact assessment for the marine area are similar to best practice environmental impact assessment, with a broader focus on understanding the context and underlying pressures on the marine system, its values and desired outcomes.
The key performance indicator for the implementation of the cumulative impact management policy will be a reduction in the risk of threats to the Reef as reported in the five-yearly Outlook Report.
The net benefit policy provides guidance on designing and implementing programs to improve the Reef's resilience and condition of its values. It is a new approach for protected area management globally.
The policy provides guidance on how to deliver net benefit outcomes for the Reef using a diverse range of approaches and working collaboratively with stakeholders at local, regional, national and international scales.
Its intent is to drive a strategic and coordinated approach to the delivery of actions designed to improve the Reef’s health and resilience, and to facilitate the effective tracking of actions.
These Reef 2050 policies are important guidance for delivering the Australian and Queensland governments’ 35-year plan to protect the Reef. The policies were finalised by the Australian and Queensland governments in July 2018.
Given the complexity of management, the scale of pressures and threats affecting the Reef, and the complex ecosystem responses, implementation across jurisdictions and sectors will be staged.
The establishment of the Reef 2050 Integrated Monitoring, Modelling and Reporting Program, together with the development of spatially explicit decision support tools will support the implementation of approaches set out in draft policies.