Statement: draft World Heritage Decision

22 June 2021

Statement from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority about the draft World Heritage Decision

Please attribute these comments to Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority CEO Mr Josh Thomas:

“As Australia’s lead management agency for the Great Barrier Reef, we take our role protecting this great natural icon very seriously and are disappointed to see the draft World Heritage decision.

“We are working with our government partners to ensure the World Heritage Committee is fully informed before making a final decision on the Reef’s World Heritage status at its July meeting in China.

“The Reef is precious to us all — to its Traditional Owners, communities along the Reef coastline, all Australians and people throughout the world who continue to be inspired by this great natural wonder.

“The Reef’s beauty and astounding biodiversity continues to inspire people around the world and supports thousands of jobs and billions in national revenue.

“We are very clear on both the challenges facing the Reef, the accelerated action and significant investments made to ensure its long-term protection, and the need for global action on climate change.

“The Authority, alongside our science, industry and community partners, is working hard to implement the Reef 2050 Plan — a Plan backed by an unprecedented $3 billion investment by both the Australian and Queensland governments.

“Building the resilience of the Reef is central to ensuring it can withstand threats. We are doing that using cutting-edge science, alleviating pressures on the Reef, and building our capacity to adapt activities in a changing climate.”

Recent key management actions include:

  • The Reef Authority’s Blueprint for Resilience continues to drive actions for a more resilient Reef including protecting coral cover by removing native pests, boosted compliance efforts, engaging Traditional owners, and Reef restoration and adaptation activities
  • The soon-to-be released updated Reef 2050 Plan has a much stronger emphasis on climate change and what needs to be done to mitigate, adapt and build resilience of the Great Barrier Reef
  • 25 per cent of the Great Barrier Reef coastline covered by Traditional Use of Marine Resources Agreements — co-management between government and Traditional Owners.
  • A new $9.7 million, 24-metre vessel, Reef Resilience, that substantially increases field operations including compliance patrols, field activities, field activities with Traditional Owners and Indigenous rangers, protected species management, and incident response.

Contact:

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority Media team | (07) 4750 0846 | media@gbrmpa.gov.au