Whitsunday Reef Islands Initiative
The Reef Islands Initiative is establishing a network of climate change refuges by protecting critical habitats on Great Barrier Reef islands. Pioneered by the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, this $AUD 14 million, 10-year program is supported by funding from Lendlease, the Australian Government’s Reef Trust, the Queensland Government and the Fitzgerald Family Foundation. Delivery of the Reef Island Initiative’s Whitsundays Islands Project is managed by Reef Catchments and is in partnership with the local Reef community including Traditional Owners, reef managers, scientific researchers, and tourism operators.
Right in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, the Whitsunday islands are a critical habitat sanctuary for the Reef’s diverse marine life. In the face of climate change, the islands, adjoining reefs and supporting ecosystems need our help to recover from recurring major impacts like coral bleaching and Cyclone Debbie.
Position the Whitsundays as a recognised global hub for inshore fringing reef stewardship, undertaking a program of activities that is underpinned by an exemplary evidence base to support adaptive management decisions.
Ignite a movement for reef restoration and stewardship by piloting new approaches to reef restoration driven and led by local tourism, community and Traditional Owner partners.
Invest in and showcase climate-friendly Reef projects, technologies and tourism activities that incentivise behaviour change towards a more sustainable Whitsundays.
Support the local tourism industry to pave the way towards a carbon neutral Reef industry – in the Whitsundays, and beyond.