5 ways business events can help the Great Barrier Reef

There are many ways delegates can contribute to the protection of the reef.

Home to two World Heritage-listed areas side by side, Cairns & Great Barrier Reef is spoilt for choice when it comes to enriching delegate experiences during business events.

With the Great Barrier Reef on the doorstep and a range of unique reef experiences to suit any conference or incentive group, it’s a natural drawcard for conference activities and education sessions.

While the threats to its future are real and immediate, it’s important to know that there are many things business events can do to help.

Here are five ways each delegate can contribute to the protection of the Great Barrier Reef:

1. Visit the reef

Visiting the Great Barrier Reef helps in its conservation due to a mandatory Environment Management Charge (EMC) that is included in each ticket sale, even for groups! This visitor charge contributes directly to the day-to-day management of the Marine Park and improving its long-term resilience. Therefore, every delegate directly contributes to the ongoing conservation of the reef just by visiting.

2. Master Reef Guide & Reef Teach Programs

Understanding the Great Barrier Reef will create a deeper appreciation for the natural wonder and why it needs protecting. The inspiring staff at Reef Teach and qualified Master Reef Guides are available to educate and enhance delegates’ reef experiences with educational, captivating and entertaining sessions.

These programs are recognised by the Australian Federal Government for crucial reef education and research and are funded by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GRFMPA), a recipient of the Environmental Management Charge, so they heavily rely on reef visitation and educational sessions for support.

3. Become a citizen and keep an eye on the reef

Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef believe a lot of small actions make up a big impact, so setup a conference goal and watch as your event makes a difference. Delegates can take simple actions such as “Hold the straw”, “BYOB (bring your own bottle/bag)” or “Sponsor a COTS (crown-of-thorns starfish) Diver” to increase the conference impact score, which can be tracked directly on your very own Citizens dashboard.

For those snap happy delegates arriving early, staying on, on a partner program or on a conference activity day, you can contribute from in the water. The Eye on the Reef program relies on the input of anyone active on the reef to gather information on reef health, marine animals and incidents. Using the app, anyone can contribute photos and information of what you’ve seen including wildlife spotted, crown-of-thorns starfish, pollution or coral spawning to keep the GBRMPA up to date.

4. Volunteer programs that leave a legacy

Adopt a turtle at one of the Turtle Rehabilitation Centres in honour of your conference and get your delegates involved with tracking its progress via the centre in the lead up to the event. In special cases, turtle releases can be filmed to play at sponsored events so delegates can see how their contribution helped rescue these majestic species; otherwise there’s plenty of other ways to get hands on, such as volunteering to help clean the turtle tanks and chop food to prepare meals.

5. Share your story

As one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, experiencing the Great Barrier Reef can come in many forms and leaves a different impression with every delegate. We invite all delegates to share their personal story and connection with the Great Barrier Reef with their family, friends and work colleagues, spreading positive stories of the extraordinary underwater world and its importance to global sustainability.

Article supplied by Business Events Cairns and Great Barrier Reef.

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