Cairns-Port Douglas Reef Hub
The Cairns-Port Douglas region is home to multiple coral rehabilitation and stewardship projects supported by Traditional Owners, scientists, tourism operators and the community who are deeply committed to a healthy and resilient Reef. The Cairns-Port Douglas Reef Hub is a network to better connect partners doing on-ground coral protection and rehabilitation actions to improve outcomes for the Reef and Reef community.
#Value of a network
Together, we can boost positive collective impact from many site-specific, but better linked projects and learnings.
Well-designed coral protection and rehabilitation activities are one tool to help reef sites of critical value bridge a gap while urgent efforts to address climate change are underway.
As active Reef protection and rehabilitation efforts increase, so does the need for more collaborative, scalable and highly impactful approaches.
The Cairns-Port Douglas Reef Hub (the Hub) is a pilot project to strengthen the network for collaboration, communication, connection and capacity that enables greater collective impact through a range of types and scales of reef protection and rehabilitation actions.
Strengthening on-ground project delivery, learning and sharing
Creating a forum for Traditional Owners, the tourism industry and community to share stories about the work and why it is important
Connecting local-scale projects with those underway in other regions as well as the larger-scale Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program
Providing tools and capacity-building to strengthen the design, implementation and monitoring of restoration projects to deliver outcomes
#Why is this needed?
The Reef is an enormous and highly complex system - with both healthy and degraded areas. We know pressures are growing and the window of time we have to shape a better future for Reefs and Reef communities calls for a more hands-on approach to caring for the Reef.
The Hub network includes individuals and organisations that want to learn, share and collaborate to actively care for coral reefs within the region. This pilot model is using an action learning approach - working to collaboratively build a network that meets a range of needs, and to learn and adapt as we go.
Hub operations focus on strengthening regional capacity for the delivery of on-ground projects through activities that enhance coordination, communication, connection and education across a diverse range of partners.
In 2020, more than 30 individuals from 20+ organisations and businesses contributed their insights and ideas to shape the design and development of a Cairns-Port Douglas Reef Hub.
A generally shared view was that a ‘hub’ was: an open network of people in the region, working together, supported by a shared vision, a Coordinator and agreed governance arrangements that are locally driven. Discussions highlighted the potential to build collective impact from many site-specific, but better linked projects.
In 2021, we've been working to collaboratively build the Hub structure, including bringing together a Hub Steering Group to actively contribute to:
Building a Terms of Reference and operations to support strong local governance
Engaging early with Traditional Owners in the region to learn about perspectives on Reef restoration and caring for sea country
Developing the Hub Coordinator role position description to provide critical capacity based locally to support the Hub - including a range of opportunities for people to get involved in 2022
Identifying ideas around key focus areas for the Hub
#A call for healing
'If there was ever a time for us to come together that time is now.'
The Heart of the Reef—a call for healing developed at a co-design workshop with Traditional Owners and The Great Barrier Reef Foundation in 2021 articulates the deep interconnectedness that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples have to Country.
It is an urgent call to action for partners, government and the world to join Traditional Owners in healing the Reef by understanding ‘that healing is about the relationship between Country and its People…one can’t heal without the other’. May we learn from the wisdom they share.
We include the Heart of the Reef statement here to mark our collective respect for Traditional Owners, their voices and their knowledge, past, present and future and a commitment to supporting collaborative approaches to designing and implementing the Hub network. As a network, we aspire to help respond to this call to action by supporting connections between knowledge systems, and by learning together to support holistic management to Reef Country.
#Hub Steering Group
A Steering Group, representative of the diversity of the Cairns-Port Douglas Reef Hub network and bringing relevant skills and expertise, provides localised strategic leadership to guide the design and operation of the Hub.
Affiliation: PES Consulting
Affiliation: Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program and The Cairns Institute, JCU
Affiliation: Down Under Cruise and Dive
Affiliation: Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority
Affiliations: University of Technology Sydney, Coral Reef Consortium and Australian Cooperative Research Centres, Coral Nurture Program
Affiliation: Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority
Affiliations: Dawul Wuru Aboriginal Corporation and Reef Restoration and Adaptation Science Traditional Owner Technical Working Group
Affiliations: Great Barrier Reef Foundation
Affiliations: GBR Biology, Reef Cooperative
Affiliations: Reef Restoration Foundation, Terrain NRM
The Cairns-Port Douglas Reef Hub is funded by the partnership between the Australian Government's Reef Trust and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation. The Hub is coordinated by TropWATER at James Cook University and enabled by the partnership's Community Reef Protection and Traditional Owner Reef Protection components, and the Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program with a network of local partners.
Credit for top banner photo: Harriet Spark, Grumpy Turtle