World first climate resilience strategy for Ningaloo Coast

  • Ningaloo is the first World Heritage site to finalise a climate resilience action plan
  • Strategy part of the Resilient Reefs initiative led by the Great Barrier Reef Foundation
  • One of four World Heritage sites participating in this phase of the initiative

Western Australia’s spectacular Ningaloo Coast has become the first World Heritage site across the globe to finalise a resilience strategy to adapt to climate change.

The strategy takes a holistic view of the threats facing Ningaloo Reef and the local community. It proposes actions to support thriving, resilient ecosystems, an educated and empowered community as well as sustainable development.

It will act as a collaborative funding framework, with the opportunity to apply for funding from the Great Barrier Reef Foundation to implement resilience initiatives.

The Ningaloo Coast Resilience Strategy was developed through a community-driven process led by the Resilient Reefs initiative, 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 is one of four World Heritage sites participating in the initiative, including the Lagoons of New Caledonia, Rock Island Southern Lagoon in Palau and Belize Barrier Reef.

The Resilient Reefs initiative supports World Heritage coral reefs and the communities that depend on them to adapt to climate change and local threats.

It is a collaboration between the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, UNESCO, The Nature Conservancy’s Reef Resilience Network, Columbia University’s Centre for Resilient Cities and Landscapes, Resilient Cities Catalyst and AECOM. The program is funded by the BHP Foundation.

To view the strategy, visit:

As stated by Climate Action Minister Reece Whitby:

“Ningaloo Reef is the world’s largest fringing reef. It’s important we do all we can to protect this marine paradise.

“The Ningaloo Coast is a tourism hotspot and contributes more than 1,000 jobs and $110 million to WA’s economy every year.

“Climate change is the greatest challenge of our lifetime and we need to act now. This strategy will help guide management actions to support the ability of the reef to recover and adapt to changing conditions.”

As stated by Great Barrier Reef Foundation Managing Director Anna Marsden:

“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.

“The Resilient Reefs initiative has already provided support for a Chief Resilience Officer for three years, technical advice as well as projects including an economic contribution study, cultural mapping with traditional owners and the development of a reef restoration framework.”

/Public Release. View in full here.