Factors influencing the Region’s values
Impacts on economic values continued
Current summary and assessment components Assessment grade and trend Very low Low impact impact Land-based run-off: Ecosystem declines from poor water quality, particularly in inshore areas, affect Reef-dependent industries. Outbreaks of crown-ofthorns starfish can affect the viability of tourism operations. Direct use: Direct use of the Region continues to be a significant contributor to regional and national economies. The future value of many uses depends on a healthy, intact ecosystem. High impact Confidence Very high impact Grade Trends
Trend since 2009 Future trend
Increasing Stable Decreasing No consistent trend Increased Stable Decreased No consistent trend
Grading statements Very low impact
Some minor impacts have already been observed and there is concern that, based on accepted predictions, there will be significant but localised impacts on the Region’s economic values.
Few or no impacts have been observed and accepted predictions indicate that future impacts on the Region’s economic values are likely to be minor.
Current and predicted future impacts are likely to significantly affect the Region’s economic values. Concern about serious effects on the Region’s economic values within next 20–50 years.
Very high impact
Current and predicted future impacts are likely to irreversibly destroy much of the Region’s economic values. Widespread and serious effects on the Region’s economic values likely within next 10–20 years.
Adequate high-quality evidence and high level of consensus Limited evidence or limited consensus Inferred, very limited evidence
Impacts on social values
Outlook Report 2009: Assessment summary An increasing coastal population is likely to increase recreational use of the Region and change people’s experiences of the Great Barrier Reef with increased congestion at popular recreation locations and competition for preferred sites. A decline in inshore habitats as a result of polluted water will have social implications for dependent industries and coastal communities. Traditional Owners are concerned about rising temperatures altering the seasonality and availability of marine resources as well as the potential loss of totemic species.
Current summary and assessment components Impact on social values: Declining ecosystem condition, especially inshore adjacent to the developed coast, from the cumulative effects of many factors mean people’s attachment to and enjoyment of the Region may lessen in the future. This may have flow-on effects on Reef-dependent industries. Predicted increasing use may mean more instances of incompatible use. Climate change: Climate-related changes to the ecosystem could affect patterns of use of the Great Barrier Reef and visitor satisfaction. People’s awareness of the potential effects of climate change is increasing their concern about the ecosystem. The vulnerability of Reef-dependent individuals and businesses depends on their ability to anticipate and adapt to change. Coastal development: Access to the Region improves through development of coastal infrastructure. Social benefits such as enjoyment, appreciation and understanding of the Reef’s values depend on healthy coastal and marine ecosystems. Land-based run-off: The effects of land-based run-off on the ecosystem can influence social values such as the aesthetics, personal connection, enjoyment and appreciation. Direct use: The Great Barrier Reef continues to be valued well beyond its local communities, with strong national and international interest. Use of the Region maintains people’s connections to it. If predicted increases in use are not well managed, instances of incompatible uses will rise.
Assessment grade and trend
Very low Low impact impact High impact Very high impact Grade Trends