Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan

The Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan (Reef 2050 Plan) is the overarching Australian and Queensland government action plan to work with partners to protect and manage the Great Barrier Reef. Launched in 2015, the plan was updated in July 2018 and is being reviewed to ensure it continues to focus on the right priorities and actions to help the Reef recover and adapt in the face of a variable and changing climate.

An updated Plan was released in late 2021 with a greater focus on taking action on climate change and involving Traditional Owners in protecting the Great Barrier Reef. This first comprehensive review of the Plan was undertaken in collaboration with stakeholders and involved public consultation on a draft of the updated Plan.

The Queensland Government has already delivered a number of significant commitments under the Reef 2050 Plan including reducing the impacts of port development through the Sustainable Ports Development Act 2015, introducing net-free fishing zones, launching the Queensland Sustainable Fisheries Strategy, strengthening Reef protection regulations to improve Reef water quality and reducing the impact of vegetation clearing.

While climate change is the single, biggest threat to the Reef, there are a number of other pressures that need to be addressed to reduce the cumulative impacts on the Reef.

One of the most manageable impacts is human-induced pollutant run-off. The Reef 2050 Water Quality Improvement Plan, launched in July 2018, includes a diverse set of actions to improve water quality flowing from the catchments to the Reef.

The Reef 2050 Cumulative Impact Management and Net Benefit policies, released in July 2018, also provide guidance on the range of impacts affecting the Reef, the scale at which impacts are occurring and tools to assess and manage impacts. The Queensland Government is implementing a number of commitments to deliver these policies, outlined in the Cumulative Impact Management Policy: Queensland Government Implementation Plan (PDF, 106 KB) .

Traditional Owner Reef 2050 implementation planning

The Reef 2050 Plan acknowledges the enduring connections and custodianship of the Great Barrier Reef by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

A project is underway to develop culturally appropriate Reef 2050 communication and implementation products. A steering group of Traditional Owners, government and funding partners is guiding the development of these products.