2010 Agriculture and Food award – From Paddock to Plate Sustainably
The Coca-Cola Foundation, Reef Catchments, WWF, QLD
Coral reefs of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) are being lost at a rate five times faster than rain forests. Up to 700 of its reefs are at risk of pollution, mostly from elevated levels of farm nutrients, sediments and pesticides. Without finding ways to improve water quality, the long term health of the GBR are at risk. Project Catalyst is a pioneering partnership between Reef Catchments, Coca-Cola Foundation, WWF and Mackay Whitsunday sugarcane farmers to improve water quality and reduce the impact of pollution on the GBR using innovative land practices. Year one esults have proven beyond expectations. Precision application of chemicals reduced nutrient pollution by 60%, herbicide pollution by 95% and satellite controlled machinery reduced the volume of run-off from heavy clay soils by 20%. The water quality of more than 24,000 ML of runoff and drainage water leading to the GBR improved.
Comments from the Judges
“The judges found that having a major impact on a very sensitive ecosystem was an important feature which could be translated to other areas around the globe experiencing similar issues. It was achieved by bringing together a diverse group of industry, government and business partners.”