Strategic assessment and 25-year management plan

Our 25-year management plan outlines how we will strengthen Reef management and new initiatives such as clear targets for action and Reef-wide integrated monitoring.

It follows a comprehensive strategic assessment of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, which we undertook in conjunction with the Queensland Government. 

The assessment looked at the marine environment and adjacent coastal zone, examining how natural and heritage values can be protected into the future.

The strategic assessment feeds in to the Australian and Queensland governments’ Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan, an overarching framework for improving the Reef’s resilience.

See below to view our Strategic assessment overview as an online flipbook.

Strategic Assesment 2014 flip book cover

The reports and supporting reports are also in our e-library in multiple formats.

Download the reports 


Public consultation on the draft strategic assessment and program report ran from 1 November 2013 to 31 January 2014.

We received a total number of 6616 submissions. Of these, 6008 were petition-style campaign submissions, 376 were survey submissions and 232 submissions were received by email or post.

Submissions were considered in finalising the reports, and the process for this is outlined in our supplementary report.


The assessment found the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area’s outstanding universal value remains largely intact and the Reef is one of the world’s most resilient tropical marine ecosystems.

However, impacts are accumulating over time and over an ever-increasing area. This is diminishing the Reef’s resilience.

The northern third of the Great Barrier Reef Region is in good condition, but inshore areas below Cooktown are in decline. The strategic assessment concluded that managing the multiple impacts affecting the Reef requires a multi-pronged approach.

Key activities

The program report — our 25-year plan for reef management — outlines how the Reef will be managed for the years ahead. It includes:

  • a management framework focused on clear outcomes and driven by specific measurable targets
  • cumulative impact guidelines and regional standards
  • a net benefit policy to guide decision-making and actions required to deliver an overall or ‘net’ improvement to ecosystem health and the condition of the Region’s values
  • a program of regionally-based Reef recovery actions to support restoration
  • a Reef-wide integrated monitoring and reporting program.

This represents a huge step change in how we are managing the Reef. It considers the whole-of-Reef, with a focus on regional and local solutions. Measurable targets will ensure the clear goals for Reef resilience are monitored.

Working in partnerships — with industry, other government agencies and the community — will be critical to our success in protecting the Reef for future generations.

Supporting material