Abstract: The Great Barrier Reef is bigger than Italy and makes up about 10 per cent of the world’s coral reef ecosystems — and, like all coral reefs around the world, it is under pressure. By far the biggest threat comes from warming ocean temperatures, caused by climate change. In 2016 and 2017 scientists recorded two consecutive years of mass coral bleaching. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority is Australia’s lead management agency of this iconic natural wonder and World Heritage Area. The Marine Park Authority’s role is broad ranging — regulator, strategic planner and advisor, on-ground actions and promoter of stewardship. The Marine Park Authority has a comprehensive strategy to manage the Reef and is constantly exploring new ways to protect this ecosystem from local, regional and global threats. Working with others — such as Traditional Owners, scientists, researchers, industry and the community — is a critical part of protecting the resilience of the Reef.
Biography: Dr Russell Reichelt joined the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority in 2007 as Chairman and Chief Executive. Dr Reichelt is a board member of the Great Barrier Reef Foundation and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority. The Great Barrier Reef has long been a personal and professional focus — he began diving on the Reef in 1968 and worked as a research scientist at the Australian Institute of Marine Science in the 1980s studying the ecology of coral reefs, particularly the crown-of-thorns starfish. He has a PhD in marine science and has served as CEO of the Australian Institute of Marine Science, Chairman of the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation, and as a member of Australia’s State of the Environment Committee. He previously chaired the National Oceans Advisory Group, CSIRO’s Wealth from Oceans Flagship Advisory Committee and Seafood Services Australia Ltd. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (UK), and the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Honorary positions include Adjunct Professor in the College of Marine and Environmental Sciences at James Cook University, and at the University of Queensland.