HRH Prince Charles joined the ‘Reef Roundtable’, hosted by The Prince’s Trust Australia and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, meeting leaders from the
technology, resources, energy, and property and infrastructure sectors as well as government and not for profit groups.
A key focus of discussion was the successful collaboration of companies and government, working together to build the resilience of the Great Barrier Reef to a changing climate, and learning about the projects that are having an impact. As part of the roundtable, leading property and infrastructure company, Lendlease, announced a new $5 million commitment across 10 years supporting the Reef Islands Initiative being led by the Great Barrier Reef Foundation. This contribution is being matched by the Australian Government bringing commitments to the Great Barrier Reef to $10 million.
As well as Lendlease and BHP, the Great Barrier Reef Foundation and The Prince’s Trust Australia hosted other major corporate, scientific, environmental and government organisations at the Roundtable including Qantas, Boeing, Australia Post, The Star Entertainment Group, The Walt Disney Company, Affirmative Investment Management, Virgin Australia, Australian Institute of Marine Science, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, University of Queensland, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) International, Greening Australia, Greenfleet Australia, Australia Zoo, Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef, The Prior Family Foundation, The Prince’s Accounting for Sustainability Project, Australian Government and Queensland Government.The Prince’s Trust Australia Chair, Margaret Jackson AC said the royal visit was a wonderful opportunity to highlight the work currently being done and to explore what can still be done for coral reefs.
“His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales has worked to protect our natural environment, marine ecosystems, and biodiversity for decades,” Ms Jackson AC said
“The Prince has a deep and enduring interest in reef resilience and it is an honour to continue this work on his behalf through The Prince’s Trust Australia.
“There is no time like the present. As we mark the International Year of the Reef, we have a responsibility to collaborate across government, not-for-profit, the private sector and with local communities to ensure we safeguard the Great Barrier Reef and its natural assets for generations to come.”
Great Barrier Reef Foundation Chairman Dr John Schubert said, “Coral reefs are critically important ecosystems, supporting 25% of all marine life on the planet and supporting the livelihoods of over one billion people worldwide.”
“Aside from its outstanding natural and cultural heritage value, the Great Barrier Reef alone supports over 64,000 Australian jobs and contributes $6.4 billion to the Australian economy annually.
“But reefs are at risk on a global scale. In Australia, we’ve witnessed an unprecedented two consecutive years of mass coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef, significantly impacting the ecosystem.
“This is our time to act and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation was privileged to have the opportunity to show HRH The Prince of Wales how Australians are playing a lead role in tackling this issue on both a local and international scale.
This is the 16th time The Prince of Wales has visited Australia, and his first visit to the southern Great Barrier Reef.
Photo Credit: Greg Sullavan