Tourism Tropical North Queensland (TTNQ) Chief Executive Officer Alex de Waal welcomed the announcement by Federal Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch that a re-elected Malcolm Turnbull government would invest $1.3 million to launch the Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef campaign.
“Warren has been an advocate for promoting Tropical North Queensland and the health of the Great Barrier Reef and we thank him for his support for this important campaign,” he said.
“People from around the world will be invited to become Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef to galvanise the symbiotic relationship between education, conservation and tourism.
“The campaign aims to empower current and future generations of the world with the knowledge, experience and ability to protect and enjoy the Great Barrier Reef.
“Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef will be delivered through a central online platform where people can apply for membership and it will showcase Great Barrier Reef education, conservation, tourism resources, activities, partners, benefits and participation opportunities.
“We want people of all nationalities to emotionally and financially buy into the protection, promotion and enjoyment of this World Heritage area.
“This is an opportunity for the people of Tropical North Queensland to show leadership by calling on the rest of the world to join them in this campaign to be an advocate for the Great Barrier Reef.
“Pre-register at citizensgbr.org/take-action/ to show your support for the campaign and become a Citizen of the Great Barrier Reef.
“Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef has been initiated by Tourism Tropical North Queensland with the support of founding partners James Cook University and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.
“The Great Barrier Reef Foundation will facilitate all donations and investment in research projects funded by Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef.
“Other content partners will include the Reef and Rainforest Research Centre and Reef HQ Aquarium.
“The co-founder and founding CEO of Earth Hour, Andy Ridley, will support the development and implementation of the Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef program and will serve on the Strategic Management Committee.
“Both Tourism Australia and Tourism and Events Queensland have committed to utilise the full weight of their digital assets to promote the Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef movement.
“Thought leaders like Jean-Michel Cousteau and Barack Obama will be approached to lead the campaign’s social media engagement which will devised by Rumble Creative & Media’s James Burchill and Nancy Hartley who were the creative directors for the Best Job in the World viral social media campaign.
“With support from the Cairns Regional Council, a public artwork will be commissioned to feature on The Cairns Esplanade as the ‘Citizens Gateway to the Great Barrier Reef’.
“This Gateway will be digitally interactive and provide a view to the Great Barrier Reef on the horizon.
“It will be highlighted in all campaign activity to encourage visitors to photograph this iconic sculpture and engage in social media communication about their visit to the Reef.”
The objectives of Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef are:
- PARTICIPATION: Empower citizens and organisations of the world to demonstrate ownership, leadership and responsibility for preserving and experiencing the Great Barrier Reef.
- CONSERVATION: Promote, foster and support research and management activities that contribute to best-practice conservation of the Great Barrier Reef for current and future generations.
- EDUCATION: Increase local and global awareness of the Great Barrier Reef and its universal value, and communicate initiatives and progress towards its sustainable existence.
- TOURISM: Encourage sustainable tourism experiences and visitation to the Great Barrier Reef and through visitation, increase advocacy for its value and conservation.