Fish-eye aerial view of Hardy Reef, Great Barrier Reef © Viewfinder Australia Photo Library


Read More

Thanks to all our supporters who helped us let the government know we have our #EyesOnTheReef.

The government knows we won’t give up on protecting the iconic Great Barrier Reef.



Almost 18 months ago people power secured a significant new protection for the Great Barrier Reef.


The UNESCO World Heritage Committee put Australia ‘on probation’ over the health of the Reef after a massive global movement, led by WWF and its supporters.


The government was given this probation period to prove it was on-track to meeting the criteria of the Reef 2050 Plan; a set of actions and targets that Australia has promised the international community it will deliver to protect the Reef.


With the government on probation, WWF-Australia and our supporters continued to fight for the Reef.


We’ve never given up, we haven’t forgotten the government’s obligation to UNESCO, and we’ve kept our #EyesOnTheReef.



We asked people to sign up to our Thunderclap (think of it like an online flashmob) to let the government know we hadn’t forgotten their obligation.


On 1 December the Thunderclap ‘exploded’ simultaneously sending the same message more than 1,300 times across social media, reaching more than half a million people.


The message was simple: “In 2015 #AusGov told #UNESCO they’d heal #GreatBarrierReef - Let them know we’ve kept #EyesOnTheReef.”



Thursday 1 December was the Australian Government's deadline to submit their Reef progress report to UNESCO - to demonstrate they were on track to heal the Reef or risk being called up in front of the World Heritage Committee again in 2017.


The report was inaccurate, claiming that 90% of actions in the Reef 2050 rescue plan were completed, underway, or on track. Read our full response.



With our Fight For The Reef partners, the Australian Marine Conservation Society, we prepared our own assessment.


The Reef Probation Report shows Australia is falling behind on key promises.


We encourage you to read this report (available to download in the right column of this page).



WWF believes the Great Barrier Reef is priceless as a natural wonder - but how much is it worth as an economic asset which supports tens of thousands of regional jobs?


In a rare collaboration we worked with Queensland Farmers’ Federation, Queensland Tourism Industry Council, and Association of Marine Park Tourism Operators, to find the answer.


Together we contracted Jacobs (a well-known and respected regulatory economics firm) to develop a business case for Reef investment.


The bottom line is that if we want the Reef to continue to support a tourism industry worth $6 billion a year and 70 000 regional jobs we need to invest properly.


If the Reef were a road or a dam it would get this scale of investment. Surely the Reef is worth it?



Stay tuned to our Great Barrier Reef page to keep up with the latest information, campaigns, and ways you can help us help the Reef. 

Keep your eyes on the Reef

Keep your #EyesOnTheReef and sign up here for updates from WWF.

Mandatory field(s) marked with *

Reef Probation Report

Click to download

With Australia due to deliver a Great Barrier Reef progress report to UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee by December 1, Fight For The Reef partners WWF-Australia and the Australian Marine Conservation Society, have prepared their own assessment.


The Reef Probation Report finds that Australia is falling behind on key commitments, and risks being called before the World Heritage Committee again in 2017.

JACOBS report

Click to download

Tourism operators, farmers and conservationists all have a strong stake in the future of the Great Barrier Reef.


So we brought three organisations together to set out a new way to value the Reef – a business case for Reef investment. We wanted to answer the question: What is an economically rational, long term level of investment in Reef management needed to secure the jobs and economic growth that rely on a healthy Great Barrier Reef?


We contracted Jacobs, a well-known and respected regulatory economics firm, to apply the same economic tools they use to assess the investment required to maintain major infrastructure.


Here's what they found:


  • $21 billion: the conservative asset value of the Reef.
  • $547 million: the recommended annual investment for basic operations and maintenance
  • $830 million: the annual investment in the Reef as economic infrastructure when depreciation is included.
  • Over $600 million: the amount the current level of government funding falls short (per annum)
report cover page



Click to download

An independent expert review group have provided UNESCO with their own evaluation of the implementation progress of the Reef 2050 Plan, including recommendations on ways it can be approved.

Recommended reading

Rehabilitated green turtle swimming at Reef HQ Aquarium © WWF-Aus / Laurent Desarnaud


Adopt a turtle

Your adoption of Hector the turtle will help WWF to protect marine turtles around Australia.

Read more

Massive school of silversides (Atherinomorus lacunosa) around the reef. Banda Neira, Indonesia © Jürgen Freund / WWF



Conservation of marine environment is very important as it feeds billions of people. WWF works for marine conservation, join us to be a part of WWF to ...

Read more

Thank You

Please share your support on social media

© Sian Breen / WWF-Aus

Sign up to our newsletter

Mandatory field(s) marked with *