Reports to World Heritage Committee on Great Barrier Reef, Tasmanian Wilderness

Media release

2 December 2019

Australia’s latest reports to the World Heritage Committee outline the comprehensive action being undertaken by the Australian and state governments to protect and sustain the Great Barrier Reef and the Tasmanian Wilderness.

The State Party Reports, which address the state of conservation of the two World Heritage listed properties, have been submitted to the World Heritage Committee as part of Australia’s reporting obligations.  They will be considered at the next Committee meeting in July 2020.

This is part of a scheduled World Heritage Committee review process for the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area and the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.

Levels of investment in the Reef by the Australian and Queensland governments have now increased to an unprecedented $2.7 billion over the 10 years from 2014 to 2024.  

The report on the Great Barrier Reef includes an assessment of its current state and outlook, and addresses the significant pressures facing the Reef, including climate change and poor water quality caused by land-based run-off.

It outlines how, under the Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan, the Australian and Queensland governments are addressing the pressures facing the Great Barrier Reef through sound policy and cutting edge science, substantial direct investment and world class marine park management.

Through collaboration and partnerships with the Queensland government, scientists, non-government organisations, Traditional Owners, industry and communities, Australia is ensuring that this investment can deliver real and lasting results that will maintain the Reef’s Outstanding Universal Value and protect its resilience.

Our report to the World Heritage Committee sets out how the Reef 2050 Plan gives us a clear way forward in tackling threats to the Reef – including working with land managers to keep Reef catchments pollution-free and controlling the coral-eating crown of thorns starfish. The Reef 2050 Plan, in conjunction with international emission reduction commitments under the Paris Agreement, are critical to the future of the Great Barrier Reef.

The report on the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area describes the significant progress made in responding to the decisions of the World Heritage Committee and recommendations of its reactive monitoring mission over recent years. Most have been fully implemented and all others are being implemented.

The Australian and Tasmanian Governments have engaged more fully with the Tasmanian Aboriginal people and their cultural heritage within the property is now becoming better understood and protected. Work is also well underway to develop a Tourism Master Plan for the World Heritage Area and to proclaim areas previously zoned for timber production as reserved land.

The reports can be found here: https://www.environment.gov.au/state-party-reports

Minister for the Environment