In terms of Western Australian treasures, the Ningaloo Coast and its famous reef is up there with some of our most precious, and today the WA Government announced a world first for the site.
As part of the Great Barrier Reef Foundation’s Resilient Reefs initiative, Ningaloo will become the first World Heritage site to finalise a climate resilience action plan.
So what does that actually mean?
According to the Government’s statement today, “the strategy takes a holistic view of the threats facing Ningaloo Reef and the local community.”
The plan “proposes actions to support thriving, resilient ecosystems, an educated and empowered community as well as sustainable devleopment.”
Essentially, climate change is coming and it’s going to have an impact on the Ningaloo coast, so let’s start mitigating those impacts now.
It was developed through a community-driven process led by Resilience Reefs, supported by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions in consultation with the Baiyungu, Thalanyji and Yinikurtura Traditional Owners, scientists and local businesses.
The Ningaloo Coast joins four other World Heritage sites participating in the initiative – the Lagoons of New Caledonia, Rock Island Southern Lagoon in Palau and Belize Barrier Reef.
“Climate change is the greatest challenge of our lifetime and we need to act now,” said Climate Action Minister Reece Whitby.
“This strategy will help guide management actions to support the ability of the reef to recover and adapt to changing conditions.”
Great Barrier Reef Foundation Managing Director Anna Marsden added: “The survival of our reefs is time critical. We are proud the Ningaloo Coast is now equipped with an action plan to help reef managers and communities implement solutions to build resilience to climate change…
“This world first strategy provides a model for helping global authorities understand reef and community threats and take action together.”
You can view the strategy here.
Image Credit: Australia’s Coral Coast