Great Barrier Reef future could be secured with $100m grant

100&change top 100 - Greening Australia has qualified for Great Barrier Reef proposal

Greening Australia among top 100 proposals for $100 million grant through the MacArthur Foundation’s 100&Change program

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation today unveiled Greening Australia’s submission for ‘Reef Aid – Securing the future of the Great Barrier Reef’ is one of the highest-scoring proposals, designated as the Top 100, in its 100&Change competition for a single $100 million grant to help solve one of the world’s most critical challenges..

Together with our partners, Mungalla Aboriginal Corporation for Business, Great Barrier Reef Foundation, and GreenCollar, Greening Australia will restore 2,000 hectares of eroded land and 10,000 hectares of wetlands at priority sites, using a proven solution to prevent 400,000 tonnes of sediment from polluting the Reef each year. Our solution will be co-designed and co-delivered with Traditional Owner groups, improve water quality, the Reef’s resilience to climate change and Indigenous livelihoods and wellbeing.

The Top 100 represent the top 21 percent of competition submissions. The proposals were rigorously vetted, undergoing MacArthur’s initial administrative review, a Peer-to-Peer review, an evaluation by an external panel of judges, and a technical review by specialists whose expertise was matched to the project.

Each proposal was evaluated using four criteria: impactful, evidence-based, feasible, and durable. MacArthur’s Board of Directors will select up to 10 finalists from these high-scoring proposals over the coming months.

“As an organisation that prides itself on being science-led and impactful, we’re pleased to have performed so well in the selection criteria for 100&Change that we qualified for the Top 100.”
Brendan Foran, Greening Australia CEO

The Great Barrier Reef is a global icon and one of Australia’s greatest treasures but it’s under threat from poor water quality and climate change. This affects the culture and livelihoods of 70 Traditional Owner groups who have been its custodians for over 60,000 years, yet they are largely excluded from its management.”

Since 2015, Greening Australia has been working with Traditional Owners, leading scientists, landholders, and communities to improve water quality on the Great Barrier Reef. Using targeted restoration techniques on the highest sediment yielding eroded gullies and the most critical wetlands for cultural connections and biodiversity, we’ve restored over 600 hectares of gullies and wetlands and our large-scale pilot project has demonstrated a 97% improvement in water quality. Today, Reef Aid is the largest on-ground restoration program in the Great Barrier Reef catchment. It is an efficient and cost-effective solution with immediate results that is ready to be replicated across the broader Reef community.

Now it’s time to scale up.

Director of Mungalla Station and traditional owner, Jacob Cassady with CEO of Greening Australia, Brendan Foran on site at Great Barrier Reef location

Director of Mungalla Station and traditional owner, Jacob Cassady with CEO of Greening Australia, Brendan ForanGreening Australia are ready to co-design and co-deliver a solution that works to support the health of the Reef and benefits Indigenous livelihoods and wellbeing.”

Cecilia Conrad, CEO of Lever for Change MacArthur Managing Director, 100&Change said: “MacArthur seeks to generate increased recognition, exposure, and support for the high-impact ideas designated as the Top 100. Based on our experience in the first round of 100&Change, we know the competition will produce multiple compelling and fundable ideas. We are committed to matching philanthropists with powerful solutions and problem solvers to accelerate social change.” 

Read Greening Australia's submisison to 100&Change