The Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program brings together Australia’s leading experts to help the Great Barrier Reef resist, adapt to, and recover from the impacts of climate change.
Visible from outer space, the Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest living structure and one of the seven wonders of the world. It spans 2300km, has more than 600 corals and 1600 types of fish. It is an economic, social and iconic asset valued at $56 billion, important to industries such as tourism and fishing, and providing livelihood to many.
Why do we need to help the Reef?
Despite being one of the best-managed reef ecosystems in the world, the Great Barrier Reef is under extreme pressure.
The threats include: increasing sea temperatures leading to coral bleaching, ocean acidification and severe weather events.The frequency and severity of these impacts is being exacerbated by climate change.
Even with strong action to reduce carbon emissions, global temperatures are already 1°C above pre-industrial levels and will continue to rise, and stay elevated, for decades to come. In addition to a global commitment to greenhouse gas mitigation, and continued management of local pressures, further measures are needed.
Rising to the challenge
The challenge to find solutions to help the Reef become more resilient in this changing environment is enormous.
In 2018, the Australian Government provided $6M for the concept feasibility study of the Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program (RRAP), a partnership of leading Australian experts including scientists, engineers, modellers and economists, to investigate the best science and technology options to help the Great Barrier Reef resist, repair and recover.
This study, which was the world's most rigorous and comprehensive investigation into medium and large-large reef intervention, was completed in 2019. It found successful intervention was possible and could double the likelihood of sustaining the Reef in good condition by 2050.
RRAP is now embarking on a long-term research and development (R&D) program to develop, test and risk-assess novel interventions to help keep the Reef resilient and sustain critical functions and values.
The aim is to provide reef managers and decision-makers with an innovative toolkit of safe, acceptable and cost-effective interventions to help protect the Reef from the impacts of climate change, in conjunctions with best-practice reef management and reducing carbon emissions.
This ambitious undertaking will require not only our best minds working in partnership across many organisations and fields of expertise, but importantly, the input and support of Traditional Owners, reef communities and industries, and the wider Australian public.Learn more about why we need action to support the Great Barrier Reef
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