The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (Reef Authority) has welcomed more than 35 coral reef managers from across the Pacific for the inaugural Pacific Coral Reef Collective.
The Reef Authority will host the forum in Cairns this week, with delegates attending from 16 Pacific nations.
The five-day event will enable delegates to share knowledge and experience in reef management and explore innovative solutions to protect reefs across the Pacific region, both now and in the future.
Delegates will also hear from Reef Authority managers, Traditional Owners, and representatives from the Reef industry and science partners.
Reef Authority Chief Executive Officer, Josh Thomas, said they will also visit Green Island and spend a day on the Reef to see first-hand what is being done to manage this World Heritage icon.
“This is a great opportunity for knowledge sharing and leadership exchange with our Pacific neighbours. It is also a chance to showcase management actions, including Reef restoration and rehabilitation projects, the Reef Joint Field Management program, and the crown-of-thorns starfish control program,” Mr Thomas said.
“The Pacific is home to about 27 per cent of the world’s corals. These reefs are some of the most biodiverse ecosystems on the planet and support not only the communities they border but are recognised globally for their contribution to tourism, industry, and cultural and heritage values.
“The diverse program of actions across the Pacific and on the Great Barrier Reef to strengthen reef resilience will provide a stimulating context for collective discussions about how we can better protect our precious marine ecosystems.”
“I would like to extend my thanks to the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme for its assistance in making this week possible. The wealth of knowledge and experience gathered in Cairns for this event is incredible.”
“Coral reefs around the world are facing unprecedented challenges, with climate change the most serious threat to reef health.”
“When it comes to reef protection, we do not and cannot act alone. Now more than ever, it is critical that we work together to support each other to manage our reefs, to ensure their resilience in the face of a changing climate,” Mr Thomas said.
The Australian Government is taking decisive action to protect the future of coral reefs, with increased climate commitments and ambition to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 43 per cent by 2030; and to achieve zero net emissions by 2050.
The Pacific Coral Reef Collective will be held in Cairns and surrounding Reef regions between 31 July to 5 August.
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Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority
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