Reef Islands Initiative is the establishment of a network of climate change refuges to protect critical habitats on five Great Barrier Reef islands - a $AUD 14 million, 10-year program.
The Great Barrier Reef is under increasing pressure from a combination of local threats and global climate change. With these pressures projected to grow into the future, reef islands and their adjoining reefs will play an increasingly important role as habitat refuges - home to thousands of species of animals, many facing an uncertain future in the face of global climate change.
Lady Elliot Island on the southern Great Barrier Reef was the first new climate change ‘ark’ included in the Reef Island Refuge Initiative in 2018. A tailored on-ground action program is being developed to expand and accelerate the existing, award-winning environmental work already underway to further boost and accelerate the island’s resilience to climate change and other stresses.
The development and implementation of Reef Islands will be delivered through the collaboration and engagement of a wide range of stakeholders and organisations, that include (but not limited to): Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority; Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service; Traditional Owners; Research organisations; and Industry.