Valuing the Great Barrier Reef

Great Barrier Reef
A diver inspects the Great Barrier Reef’s condition in 2015 in an area called the Coral Gardens located at Lady Elliot Island.

As the world celebrates Earth Day in April, we turn our attention here to a natural wonder and UNESCO World Heritage site — Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Deloitte Access Economics was commissioned by the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, with support from the National Australia Bank and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, to arrive at a valuation for the reef. “Valuing nature in monetary terms can effectively inform policy settings and help industry, government, the scientific community, and the wider public understand the contribution of the environment, or in this case the Great Barrier Reef, to the economy and society,” the 2017 report said. Here are some of the findings:

AUD 6.4 billion ($5.2 billion)

in contribution to the Australian economy tied to the reef in 2015–2016.


jobs supported by the reef for the same period.

AUD 56 billion ($45 billion)

in overall value for the reef as an Australian economic, social, and iconic asset.