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Representative Areas in the Marine Park

Protecting Biodiversity:

The Representative Areas Program

The objective of the Representative Areas Program (RAP) is to help protect biodiversity within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area (GBRWHA) . This will be done by protecting 'representative' examples of all the different habitats and communities in the GBRWHA and building upon the existing network of Green Zones (no-take areas).

The GBRWHA has been classified into 70 bioregions. Bioregions are areas of differing marine biodiversity which have been mapped after consideration of the physical and biological diversity of the entire GBRWHA. Each bioregion contains plant and animal communities, together with physical features, that are significantly different from the surrounding areas and the rest of the GBRWHA. There is, however, a high level of 'connectivity' within the marine environment and each of these habitats plays an important role in the entire Reef ecosystem.

Virtually the entire Great Barrier Reef Marine Park is already zoned, with different uses permitted in different zones. However less than 5% of the Marine Park is currently in Green Zones ('no-take' areas) that prohibit extractive uses like fishing and collecting. An analysis of the existing level of no-take areas within reef and non-reef bioregions found this was not enough to adequately protect the biodiversity of the GBRWHA.

Technical Information sheets are available, explaining more about the concurrent zoning review and some technical elements of the Representative Areas Program. For example, a package of 11 biophysical operating principles has been developed by an independent Scientific Steering Committee to guide the development of new Green Zones during the rezoning process. Similarly there are principles to assist in the social, economic and cultural aspects of RAP.

There is strong political commitment for RAP, and the program will help Australia to fulfil its national and international commitments

You may view other maps relating to the RAP.

Frequently asked questions about RAP.

Update brochures are produced periodically to keep users and stakeholders informed. You can also elect to receive regular RAP updates.

For more information about the phases of the Representative Areas Program or an overview of the program.

Contact details

Call the GBRMPA's Public Information Unit on 1800 990 177 or Email: info@gbrmpa.gov.au or Contact the Representative Areas Team at the GBRMPA: Facsimile: 07 4772 6093

Click here to receive regular RAP updates


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