Joint media release: New strategy to protect Reef wetlands
2 February 2024

The Hon Tanya Plibersek MP, Minister for the Environment and Water
Senator Nita Green, Special Envoy for the Great Barrier Reef and Senator for Queensland
The Hon Leanne Linard MP, Queensland Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef

The new Great Barrier Reef Wetlands Strategy outlines the government’s plans for wetland science, planning, coordination and management in Reef catchments.
Five key areas have been identified to enhance wetland protection in Queensland.
The announcement of the strategy coincides with World Wetlands Day.

To mark World Wetlands Day, the Federal and Queensland Labor governments have released a new strategy to better protect and restore wetlands in the Great Barrier Reef.

Wetlands are one of the secret weapons to help protect the Great Barrier Reef. They help improve water quality, reduce pollution and provide a home for iconic animals like dugongs and turtles.

Of course, they are also key to our fight against climate change – wetlands cover around six to nine per cent of the Earth’s surface and store a huge 35 per cent of global terrestrial carbon.

Wetlands also hold significant cultural and spiritual importance to First Nations communities who have been successfully managing them for thousands of years.

Unfortunately, wetlands in the Great Barrier Reef catchment have decreased by over 50 per cent since European settlement, and degradation of wetlands is a major cause of increased carbon emissions and biodiversity loss.

That’s why this new strategy is so important. The Reef 2050 Wetlands Strategy provides a blueprint for governments, scientists and communities to better protect and restore protect wetlands in the Reef and its catchments for our kids and grandkids.

The strategy is available here: @ausgov @qldgov