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International gathering to help the Great Barrier Reef help itself

International gathering to help the Great Barrier Reef help itself

Innovative ways to preserve and restore the Great Barrier Reef will be the focus of the international Great Barrier Reef Restoration Symposium, beginning tomorrow in Cairns.

Over three days, more than 200 scientists, engineers, marine park managers, tourism operators, community leaders and youth will explore the world’s most promising options for strengthening the Great Barrier Reef’s resilience.

National Environmental Science Program’s Tropical Water Quality Hub leader and symposium convenor Professor Damien Burrows said the Reef had suffered greatly from major disturbances such as back-to-back coral-bleaching events.

“These impacts are set to escalate with climate change,” he said. “Innovative solutions are needed, in addition to greenhouse gas mitigation and existing reef management.”

Australian Institute of Marine Science executive director, and Reef Restoration and Adaption Program director, David Mead said reef restoration successes and cutting-edge research and thinking would be shared.

“I think people will be surprised by the new and innovative solutions being considered,” he said. “This symposium will also be an important opportunity to hear the priorities and concerns of the Reef’s key stakeholders – the Australian community and industry.”

Highlights of Monday July 16:

• Status of the Great Barrier Reef – Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority chief scientist David Wachenfeld

• Creating an innovative suite of restoration tools – Australian Institute of Marine Science executive director David Mead

• Next generation corals for tomorrow’s reefs – Australian Institute of Marine Science senior research scientist Line Bay

• Social licence in coral restoration – CSIRO principal research scientist Justine Lacey

• New approaches to managing Crown-of-Thorns starfish – Reef and Rainforest Research Centre managing-director Sheriden Morris

• Success in Indonesia – Frank Mars, Mars Inc.

• Young Adult Workshop – 30 north Queensland school students share ideas on reef restoration

Stakeholder perspectives: tourism, industry, conservation, Indigenous and community

The symposium will be opened by the Ambassador for the Environment, Patrick Suckling and includes a presentation by Reef Advisory Committee Chair, the Hon. Penny Wensley AC.

The Great Barrier Reef Restoration Symposium is a collaboration between the Tropical Water Quality Hub (TWQ) of the Australian Government’s National Environmental Science Program (NESP) and the Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program (RRAP), with funding support from the Association of Marine Park Tourism Operators (AMPTO) and the Reef and Rainforest Research Centre (RRRC). Additional partners include Reef Ecologic and the Reef Restoration Foundation.

For a program and further information: 

What: The Great Barrier Reef Restoration Symposium
Where: Pullman Reef Hotel Casino, Wharf Street, Cairns
When: from 8:30 am, July 16