Aerial view of Hardy's Reef, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland © Viewfinder Australia Photo Library


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

The Australian Government had until 1 December to submit a progress report to UNESCO, demonstrating it had made significant progress in improving the health of the Great Barrier Reef.

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.

Then last week we released our own report, showing how much work the Government still needs to do to protect the Reef.

This week (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.”

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

The story so far

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.


What now?

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

But WWF-Australia and the Australian Marine Conservation Society prepared their own assessment. The Reef Probation Report shows Australia is falling behind on key promises.

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

What next?

Australia’s progress report to the World Heritage Committee on the Great Barrier Reef has now been made public.


Read our reponse to the government report and stay tuned to our #EyesOnTheReef campaign for updates.

Keep your eyes on the Reef

Thanks for supporting our Thunderclap. Keep your #eyesonthereef and sign up here for updates from WWF.

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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.


The report calls on Australia to urgently lift its game on tree clearing, water pollution, investment in Reef repair, and responding to climate change.


The fact that Australia lived up to its promise to ban sea-dumping of industrial dredge spoil in the Reef World Heritage Area and limit port development is acknowledged as “a welcome win for the Reef”.


But the failure on tree clearing, slow progress on water pollution targets, insufficient funding for reef repair, and inadequate action on climate change are cause for major concern.


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© Sian Breen / WWF-Aus

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