NAB MEDIA RELEASE
NAB announces $1.6 million in funding for sustainable regional grants
NAB has today announced over $1.6 million in funding for six organisations to assist regional communities enhance the natural environment. Since 2008, NAB, through the NAB Foundation, has provided $10.6 million in grants to organisations to help them innovate and have greater impact in the community.
NAB Chief Legal and Commercial Counsel, Sharon Cook, said NAB aims to help tackle societal issues by funding organisations who have new ways of doing things, or who are thinking about how to use business solutions to make a difference.
“Our aim is to build stronger, more connected communities by helping address the issues that matter to them,” Ms Cook said.
“We invest in the community in many ways – from how we manage our operations, through to our giving and volunteering activities.
“We look to support the big ideas – those that are truly impactful, scalable and provide sustainable solutions to complex societal issues.”
Over the past 10 years, the Foundation’s grant priorities have been aligned to issues important to NAB customers and the wider Australian community, including mental health, domestic and family violence, financial resilience, and environmental wellbeing.
The six recipients of this year’s Environmental Wellbeing: Sustainable Regions Grants include some of the most well respected conservation organisations in the country, two new social enterprises, and a peak body representing key voices in private land conservation.
NAB Executive General Manager of Specialised Banking, Julie Rynski, said NAB is committed to strengthening regional communities by helping them to better preserve the natural environment.
“Through these Sustainable Regions Grants, we want regional communities to respond to challenges such as water quality, land degradation and climate change, and work on solutions to some of these complex issues,” Ms Rynski said.
“We know that industries such as agriculture and tourism are dependent on the management and preservation of natural resources, and supporting the environment is vitally important to regional communities who are reliant on these industries.” For more information about the NAB Foundation Environmental Wellbeing: Sustainable Regions Grants program, visit www.nab.com.au/nabfoundation
About this year’s NAB Foundation Environmental Wellbeing: Sustainable Regions Grant recipients:
Reef Restoration Foundation (Fitzroy Island, Cairns, Great Barrier Reef, QLD)
Great Barrier Reef coral nursery to expand
The Great Barrier Reef’s first offshore nursery to grow corals that have survived recent bleaching events will be replicated in multiple high-value reef areas with funding announced today by the National Australia Bank Foundation.
The Reef Restoration Foundation established a pilot offshore coral nursery at Fitzroy Island in December 2017 after receiving a permit from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA).
Foundation Chief Executive Officer Stewart Christie said the not-for-profit social enterprise would expand the pilot nursery at Fitzroy Island and apply for permits to develop more nurseries in other Great Barrier Reef locations with the National Australia Bank $400,000 three-year grant.
“We are very grateful to the National Australia Bank for endorsing the Reef Restoration Foundation’s pilot research program after a very competitive funding application process,” he said. “We want to congratulate Terrain NRM who, in partnership with GreenCollar, secured $325,000 funding over two years to support farmers access an Australia-first reef offsets scheme “This funding is a tick of approval from a corporate giant who shares our vision, values and passion to make a difference to the Great Barrier Reef, which is facing many challenges including the recent 2016 and 2017 bleaching events and a cyclone.
“The method adopted by the Reef Restoration Foundation was developed in Florida Keys and the Caribbean where more than 25,000 corals are grown and planted annually in offshore nurseries. “Our goal is to grow and plant similar amounts of coral in high-value locations throughout the Great
Barrier Reef to assist in securing the $6 billion in revenue that supports 69,000 jobs on the world’s largest reef. “Cuttings of coral have been growing successfully on six coral tree frames at Fitzroy Island since they were installed in December and will be harvested in six to 12 months. “The cuttings will be transplanted on damaged reefs at the island and the original corals will be left on the frames to regrow so the process becomes a continuous cycle.
“Researchers from James Cook University’s TropWATER and Reef Ecologic are monitoring the performance of the Fitzroy Island coral nursery with the support of funding from the Australian Government’s National Environmental Science Program.
“The initial pilot project has been established with financial assistance from Fitzroy Island Resort, the Association of Marine Park Tourism Operators (AMPTO), Gem Pearl and Cairns Dive Centre. “We could not have undertaken this project without the support of our army of local volunteers
coordinated by Azri Saparwan and Pablo Cogollos and supported by the Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre.
“Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef is promoting the project as an example of tangible action that brings the community, tourism industry and corporate sector together to assist the Great Barrier Reef.
“The Reef Restoration Foundation’s next step is to install 14 more coral trees across two sites at Fitzroy Island which we will begin after the wet season.
“We will also work with GBRMPA and the tourism industry to identify more high-value reef sites where additional nurseries can be established.
“Coral reefs can take four to 10 years to regenerate naturally, but if we can replicate that process in nurseries across the Great Barrier Reef we can increase the speed of the regeneration process. “The Reef Restoration Foundation is seeking additional corporate partners to assist in our goal to
continue expanding the number of offshore coral nurseries in high value locations throughout the Great Barrier Reef.”
Follow Reef Restoration Foundation on its journey at https://www.facebook.com/reefrestorationfoundation/ and if you are inspired to make a positive improvement to the health of the Great Barrier Reef, please sign-up or donate at www.reefrestorationfoundation.org.