The Reef 2050 Plan

Diver monitoring the Reef

Diver monitoring the Reef
Photo: GBRMPA

About the Reef 2050 Plan

The Reef 2050 Plan will guide the sustainability and management of the Great Barrier Reef, to continue efforts to protect species such as turtles and dugongs, and deal with key threats like poor water quality and crown-of-thorns starfish.

The Reef 2050 Plan is being developed in partnership with the Queensland Government and Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. It will draw together the outcomes of the Great Barrier Reef comprehensive strategic assessment to provide an over-arching framework to guide the protection and management of the reef from 2015 to 2050.

The Reef 2050 Plan has two components—the Reef 2050 Long-term Sustainability Plan and the Reef Trust.

Reef 2050 Long-term Sustainability Plan

The Australian and Queensland government has released the Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan for public comment for a six week period until 27 October 2014.

The Reef 2050 Long-term Sustainability Plan will inform future development by drawing together the marine and coastal components of the comprehensive strategic assessment, providing an over-arching framework to guide protection and management of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area from 2015 to 2050.

It will target identified areas of action from the strategic assessments and seek to address gaps for future management of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.

The plan will build on the successful Reef Water Quality Protection Plan 2013 (Reef Plan) and on the strong foundation of management already in place.

An information sheet describing broad elements of the plan was released for public consultation on 1 November 2013 until 31 January 2014.

Great Barrier Reef Long-Term Sustainability Plan – Information Sheet (PDF - 2.58 MB) | (DOCX - 6.32 MB)

Reef Trust

The Reef 2050 Plan also includes the development of the Reef Trust. The Reef Trust will combine both Australian Government and private funds to focus on improving coastal habitat and water quality throughout the Great Barrier Reef and adjacent catchments.

The Australian Government is committing an initial contribution of $40 million to the Reef Trust to address key threats to the reef.

Run-off reduction and control of crown-of-thorns starfish

Through the Reef Trust, funding will be provided to farmers and land managers to assist them to implement techniques to reduce run off to the Great Barrier Reef catchment that contribute to crown-of- thorns starfish outbreaks.

Additional actions are also planned to control crown-of-thorns starfish outbreaks and reduce the incidence of new outbreaks through partnerships between managing agencies and marine tourism operators. These will build on existing direct control activities being undertaken as part of the Australian Government Reef Programme.

Dugong and Turtle Protection Plan

A National Dugong and Turtle Protection Plan is also being established under the Reef Trust. This plan will provide greater protection from the threats of poaching, illegal hunting and marine debris to dugong and turtle populations in far North Queensland waters and the Torres Strait.

Australian Government Reef Programme

The Australian Government Reef Programme (formerly Reef Rescue) will be delivered as a component of the National Landcare Programme and will build on the success of the first phase of Reef Rescue.

The programme will contribute to the delivery of the Reef 2050 Plan and will continue to contribute to the Reef Water Quality Protection Plan 2013 (Reef Plan 2013).

The Australian Government Reef Programme continues to support activities to improve the quality of water entering the Great Barrier Reef by helping agricultural land managers across the reef catchment adopt improved land management practices that will reduce the discharge of nutrients, sediments and pesticides into the reef lagoon.

The programme also supports a wide range of managers and researchers across the Great Barrier Reef catchment, including in urban areas, to address threats to the reef caused by declining water quality and variable climate.