The Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan

About the plan

The Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan is the overarching framework for protecting and managing the Great Barrier Reef from 2015 to 2050. The plan is a key component of the Australian Government’s response to the recommendations of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee.

The plan has been developed by the Australian and Queensland governments in close consultation with partners including the resources, ports, tourism, fishing, agriculture, Indigenous, local government, research and conservation sectors.

The plan targets areas of action that were identified through a comprehensive strategic assessment of the reef and coastal zone and seeks to address gaps for future management of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.

At the core of the plan is an outcomes framework that will drive progress towards an overarching vision:

To ensure the Great Barrier Reef continues to improve on its Outstanding Universal Value every decade between now and 2050 to be a natural wonder for each successive generation to come.”

Development process

The plan was developed with input from scientists, communities, Traditional Owners, industry and non-government organisations. Public comment was then invited on the draft plan for six weeks until October 27, 2014.

During the consultation period the objectives, targets and actions which underpin the plan were also considered by experts in the relevant fields. The outcomes of the consultation process informed revision of the plan with the Partnership Group. The plan was considered by the Great Barrier Reef Ministerial Forum in late 2014.

The plan was submitted to the UNESCO World Heritage Centre in March 2015, for consideration at the 39th session of the World Heritage Committee June/July 2015.

Comprehensive Strategic Assessment

The plan builds on the three-year comprehensive strategic assessment that examined the status and trends of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area’s environmental values including its Outstanding Universal Value - the values for which the property was World Heritage listed in 1981.

The strategic assessment reviewed how those values are protected and how this protection could be strengthened, while considering sustainable development and multiple use of the Great Barrier Reef.

The Australian Government engaged a consultant to undertake an independent review of the institutional and legal mechanisms that provide coordinated planning, protection and management of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.

The review was commissioned in response to Recommendation 11 of the World Heritage Committee’s report on a reactive monitoring mission to the Great Barrier Reef.

The Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan draws together a number of key Australian and Queensland government initiatives. For more information on these initiatives please refer to the links below: