21 Feb 2017


The Great Barrier Reef Independent Review Group (the Reef Review Group) prepared this report to provide an independent analysis of the Australian and Queensland governments’ progress in implementing the Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan (Reef 2050 Plan). 

 The main points in the GBR Independent Review Group’s report include:

  • The 2016 mass coral bleaching, caused by global warming, “has substantially diminished the Outstanding Universal Value of the GBR WHA.”
  • Given how long coral takes to recover, Australia’s aim of ensuring the Outstanding Universal Value of the Great Barrier improves every decade between now and 2050 “is no longer attainable for at least the next two decades”
  • “Australia’s current national emission reduction targets are not commensurate with a fair contribution to the reduced global carbon budget required to meet the Paris Agreement targets and protect the GBR WHA and coral reefs worldwide”.
  • “up to third of the 103 actions [in Reef 2050] flagged as ‘on track/underway’ are really just starting, or are seriously under-resourced”.
  • The Government has admitted a funding gap of between $143 and $408 million to implement Reef 2050 Plan actions. However, the Review Group says this funding gap “is under-estimated” and strategies to address the gap “are poorly constructed, non-comprehensive and add little to the achievement of the Reef 2050 Plan”.