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Reef Aid goes for gold

Author: Jo Norman, Norman Family – AEGN members

Sediment plume at the Great Barrier Reef.

Applications close on Monday 5 August, leaving us a very short window to act. Here’s our golden opportunity for the AEGN membership to rise to the Environmental Giving Pledge by potentially leveraging our funding pledges into AUD$140M for our iconic Great Barrier Reef.

Greening Australia is embarking upon an ambitious stretch to secure AUD$140 million of funding for their Reef Aid project in one fell swoop! This long-term project to improve the quality of water entering the Great Barrier Reef and help boost the Reef’s resilience has a budget running into the hundreds of millions. However, they are going for gold with their entry into the MacArthur Foundation’s 100&Change competition which grants US$100M to one organisation over five years.

Three years ago, Greening Australia made their first submission to 100&Change, and were ranked within the top 40 from around 2000 applications. Theirs was the only environmental project within the top 40! It’s an impressive result considering they had barely any funding under their belts and were in the very early stages of the project with no test results to report on. The judges were very interested in the project and have stayed in touch to keep abreast of the progress. Since then Greening Australia has raised $30 million and trialled sophisticated restoration techniques for eroded gullies on farming land and have reduced sediment loads from these properties by 97 per cent. Sediment that would have otherwise discharged onto the Reef.

The area where they scored lowest in the 2016 100&Change submission was ‘Durability’ mainly due to their concern about securing ongoing funding for the project from within Australia. In this year’s application, Greening Australia want to provide irrefutable evidence that Australia’s philanthropic community can back our beloved Great Barrier Reef. One of the key attractions for supporting this project is matched government funding for the current trials and the ability to generate Reef Credits, that can be sold into an emerging environmental market with the returns being reinvested back into Reef Aid via a rolling fund. Other funding sources in place are corporate partnerships and government grants.

Applications close on Monday 5 August, leaving us a very short window to act. Here’s our golden opportunity for the AEGN membership to rise to the Environmental Giving Pledge by potentially leveraging our funding pledges into AUD$140M for our iconic Great Barrier Reef.

If you are interested in joining The Ian Potter Foundation, the Norman Family, Portland House Foundation and several other AEGN members in pledging your support for the Reef with a minimum $20,000 ‘in principle’ pledge, contact Jonathan Duddles for a following up meeting.

Johnathan Duddles
e: jduddles@greeningaustralia.org.au
m: 0417 503 814

You can also contact me: jonorman100@gmail.com

Securing this grant will truly be a win for our iconic Great Barrier Reef!