The Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program brings together Australia’s leading experts to help preserve and restore the Great Barrier Reef.
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 and needs our help more than ever.
The threats include: increasing sea temperatures leading to coral bleaching, ocean acidification and increasingly frequent and severe weather events. The frequency and severity of these impacts is being exacerbated by climate change.
Even with strong action to reduce climate change, water temperatures 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 recover and adapt to the changing environment is enormous.
To address it, the Australian Government provided $6M for the concept feasibility phase of the Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program (RRAP), a long-term research project to investigate the best science and technology options to help the Great Barrier Reef resist, repair and recover.
Globally, reefs are under threat. Rising ocean temperatures saw mass coral bleaching on the northern and central Great Barrier Reef in 2016 and 2017, which has been compounded by cyclones and outbreaks of the coral-eating crown-of-thorns starfish.
The frequency and severity of bleaching events is predicted to increase in line with climate change predictions.
However, the Great Barrier Reef still has high biodiversity and remains resilient.
By acting now, we can help protect the predicted loss of coral species that provide critical habitat for 35 per cent of the world’s fish, and thousands of other marine species.
The commitments by governments to the targets of the Paris Agreement could limit further warming to between 1.5 and 2 degrees celsius above pre-industrial levels, providing an opportunity to develop actions to support recovery for the Reef.
We are looking for additional partners and there are many ways to engage.
For more information, please contact:
Emily O'Regan - Project Administrator
p: 07 4753 4275