International Year of the Reef 2018

On 14 February, the Prince of Wales' International Sustainability Unit hosted 'International Year of the Reef 2018 – An Opportunity for Increasing Coral Reef Resilience Through New Collaborative Models’, which was attended by key representatives from the public sector, private sector, finance, science and NGO communities. The objective of this day-long meeting was to explore how existing efforts to mitigate the acute threats to reef ecosystems - from climate change, pollution and overfishing - can be scaled up and how different sectors can collaborate to provide financial incentives to improve coral reef health and resilience.

A member of the Board of the Great Barrier Reef Foundation since 2010, Stephen Fitzgerald participated in the panel discussion, alongside GBRF Managing Director, Anna Marsden, and they subsequently welcomed HRH The Prince of Wales to Australia’s Lady Elliott Island, for a round table and tour earlier this month. Attended by senior executives from BHP, Qantas and Lendlease, as well as Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority head, Russ Reichelt and top reef scientist, Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, this event also marked the launch of a reef islands restoration project to create a series of ‘arks’ that will provide a haven for thousands of species of reef wildlife and plants in an increasingly challenging environment.

This ambitious programme was initiated with a significant donation from Stephen’s foundation, with matched funding from the Queensland and Australian Governments, and has subsequently been supported by Australian property and infrastructure group, Lendlease.