Reef Trust Partnership
#The Reef Trust Partnership is the largest collective effort ever for the Reef - delivering and building on the Reef 2050 Plan.
The Partnership is a six-year, $443m partnership between the Australian Government's Reef Trust and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation. So far, more than 370 projects are underway with over 500 partners and we are on track to deliver against the Partnership’s objective of achieving significant, measurable improvement in the health of the Great Barrier Reef.
The Partnership represents an elevation and escalation of effort – from governments, communities, Reef management, Traditional Owners and more – building on the phenomenal work by many and accelerating and amplifying their efforts for the benefit of the Reef.
This is not the entire solution. More must be done on climate change by reducing global emissions and more will need to be done to maintain the momentum generated through the Partnership at the end of its six-year term.
The scale of the Partnership is unprecedented, this is the largest effort globally to help an ecosystem withstand the impacts of climate change and local stresses. Over the next three years, the Partnership will continue to deliver on its commitment to improving the health of the Reef in this critical decade of action.
The Partnership is structured around three core pillars:
Recognising the Reef cannot wait and the task is urgent, we need to scale what we know and is proven, develop or adapt solutions where none exist and be prepared to take big, bold steps.
Understanding that no single group can tackle this alone, we need to embed partnerships as a founding ethos, grow the $443 million in public funds, create local ownership of projects through co-design and co-delivery and bring in new ideas and fresh perspectives.
Giving the Reef outcomes that live beyond the end of the Partnership, we need to grow and strengthen capacity, drive long-term behavioural change, implement sustainable financing solutions and create new business and delivery models.
#The objective of the Reef Trust Partnership is to achieve significant, measurable improvement in the health of the Great Barrier Reef, in accordance with the Reef 2050 framework and underpinned by innovation, science and community engagement.
The Grant Agreement between the Australian Government’s Reef Trust and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation outlines the Partnership's objective, the three outcomes to be achieved by the end of the Partnership and the six areas of focus (referred to as Components), including funding allocations for each.
The Foundation released its Investment Strategy for the Partnership in its first year and each year we share an Annual Work Plan which provides a detailed schedule of work for the year ahead, as a subset of our overarching five-year plan.
#End of Partnership Outcomes
The six-year Partnership will result in:
Improved management of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area and relevant activities in the adjacent catchments.
Protection of attributes that contribute to the Outstanding Universal Value of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, including species, habitats and indigenous values.
Management of key threats to the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, including poor water quality and crown-of-thorns starfish outbreaks.
Purpose: Address water quality improvement targets impacting the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area through activities such as improved farming practices, reduced fertiliser use and uptake of new technology and land management practices.
Budget: $200.6 million
Crown-of-Thorns Starfish Control
Purpose: Expand efforts to control crown-of- thorns starfish (COTS) to reduce coral mortality from COTS outbreaks in order to protect high ecological and economic value coral reefs in line with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority's COTS Control Strategy.
Budget: $57.8 million
Reef Restoration and Adaptation Science
Purpose: Conduct and implement science activities to deliver and support reef restoration and adaptation for the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.
Budget: $100 million
Traditional Owner Reef Protection
Purpose: Improve the engagement of Traditional Owners in the protection of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.
Budget: $51.8 million
Community Reef Protection
Purpose: Improve the engagement of the broader community in the protection of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.
Budget: $10 million
Integrated Monitoring and Reporting
Purpose: Improve health monitoring and reporting of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area to ensure that monitoring and our reporting to UNESCO is scientifically robust and investment outcomes are measurable.
Budget: $40 million
Transparency and accountability are key guiding principles for the Foundation in delivering the Reef Trust Partnership.
Based on each Component’s purpose outlined in the Grant Agreement, the Foundation has developed Component-specific End-of-Partnership Outcomes and we measure how well we are achieving these through our Monitoring and Evaluation Plan.
A series of interactive dashboards has been developed to demonstrate progress towards meeting these outcomes. Click each Component heading in the dashboard to dive deeper into progress on each.
This dashboard is current as at December 2022.
Find out more about the RTP progress dashboards in these Frequently Asked Questions.
#Reef Trust Partnership FAQ's
What does this Reef investment aim to achieve?
The aim of this investment is to forge collaborations to build on the Australian and Queensland governments' $2 billion Reef 2050 Plan, which is based on the best available science, draws on 40 years of analysis and is underpinned by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s strong management.
This is an investment not only in the future of the Great Barrier Reef, but also in Australian jobs and our economy as the Reef attracts tourists from all over the world. The Reef has recently been assessed by Deloitte Access Economics as having an economic, social and icon value of $56 billion to the world. It contributes $6.4 billion to the Australian economy annually and supports 64,000 Australian jobs.
There is a role for everyone in protecting the Great Barrier Reef for generations to come and this investment program recognises that.
Why was the Foundation chosen to deliver this program?
While this large federal government investment is a positive step forward, we need more financial investment to protect and restore the Reef long term. The raising of private funds will continue to be a focus and responsibility of the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, which will further amplify the impact of this positive government announcement.
The Foundation will work hard to bring existing donors and new donors together with government to get the best results for the Reef over the next six years while this program is being delivered.
Further, the Foundation has a strong history of bringing together key partners to deliver science and research projects for the Reef.
How long will it take to deliver the funded projects?
Over the six years, this significant government and private funding investment will support the delivery of key actions under the Reef 2050 Plan and help ensure the future health of the Reef.
How will the funding be spent?
The $443.3 million will be invested over six years from 2018-19 to 2023‑24. The funds were provided in full to the Foundation in 2017-18.
The partnership with the Foundation includes:
$201 million to improve water quality through changed farming practices such as reduced fertiliser use and adopting new technologies and land management practices.
$100 million to harness the best science to implement reef restoration and support Reef resilience and adaptation.
$58 million to expand the fight against the coral-eating crown-of-thorns starfish.
$40 million to enhance Reef health monitoring and reporting to track progress and inform better management.
$22 million to support Indigenous and community reef protection activities to increase traditional owner and broader community engagement on the Reef, including Indigenous sea country management, coastal clean-up days and awareness raising activities.
$22 million to administer the programs including implementing peer-reviewed systems and processes for project management, governance, and monitoring and evaluation; and developing and implementing key strategies that span each component such as science and innovation, communication and engagement, fundraising and risk and resource management.
The funding will build on and directly support the intensive work already underway through the Australian and Queensland Governments’ Reef 2050 Plan.
How much money has the Foundation raised for the Reef in the past?
The Foundation has a strong track record of raising significant funding for the Reef, more than $90 million. It will continue to do that to leverage these government funds.
What kind of projects does the Foundation help to deliver on the Reef?
The Foundation is uniquely placed to broker constructive partnerships between the private and public sectors for program delivery for the Reef. It has a strong track record of securing partnerships for innovative projects to protect the Reef, such as the Raine Island Recovery Project, the pioneering larval reseeding (‘coral IVF’) project and the sun shield for the Reef project, to name just a few.
Read more about the Foundation's Reef projects.
How is the funding being delivered?
The Partnership between the Foundation and the Australian Government is established through a grant agreement.
The Foundation will be required to report regularly to the Department of Environment and Energy on the program’s delivery and outcomes.
Over the coming months, the Foundation will work closely with the Department of Environment and Energy and Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority to ensure this investment will be delivered to best effect through a range of government and non-government delivery partners.
The Foundation will work with a diverse range of Reef stakeholders to deliver on-ground action to benefit the Reef. The Foundation’s work actively supports and aligns with the Reef 2050 Plan.
What does the Foundation do day to day?
The Foundation raises money for the Reef from a range of stakeholders and then works with the best researchers and scientists to deliver projects grounded in science, technology, engineering and on-ground action to benefit the Reef. These are the three key areas of focus:
Raising funds for research and on ground conservation that addresses threats to the Great Barrier Reef
Designing and delivering projects in partnership with the private and public sector that protect and restore the Reef.
Bringing hope to the future of the Great Barrier Reef through our communications and our projects.
How was the Foundation started?
One of the driving forces behind its establishment was Sir Sydney Schubert.
Sir Sydney was a builder of vision and ideals – he fostered infrastructure development around the state of Queensland and he was also integral to the creation of an agency to safeguard the largest living structure on Earth, the Great Barrier Reef. He was a founding board member of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, a role he held for more than a decade. In 2001, he became the Chair of the Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for the Reef, furthering his personal support for the protection of the Reef.
As part of the recognition for his highly respected work, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority Chairman announced last year that a reef located about 17.7 km east of Lizard Island will become Sir Sydney Schubert Reef.
The first severe mass coral bleaching event on the Great Barrier Reef occurred in 1998. At an initial meeting in 1999 to discuss the formation of a foundation for the Reef, those who attended included Sir Sydney Schubert, Sir Ian McFarlane, Mr John B Reid AO and Dr John Schubert AO.
In November 1999, the Great Barrier Reef Research Foundation was registered as a company with four founding directors: Sir Sydney Schubert, Sir Ian McFarlane, John B Reid and David Windsor.
Sir Sydney Schubert resigned as a director in 2001. The other three founding directors resigned in 2004. Dr John Schubert AO became Chairman in 2004.
It is our understanding that Sir Sydney Schubert’s idea for forming the Foundation was to create a charity to bring science and business together with a common purpose of protecting the Great Barrier Reef. Eighteen years later, the Foundation continues to lead the collaboration of business, science, government and philanthropy for the benefit of the Reef.
Who runs the Foundation?
The Foundation is governed by an independent Board of 13 directors and Anna Marsden is the Managing Director – an experienced administrator and fundraiser in the Australian business community.
This funding does not address the biggest threat to the Reef – climate change. Why has that not been addressed?
Climate change is the greatest threat to the Great Barrier Reef. You can view the Foundation's climate change statement here.