GREAT BARRIER REEF
// Outlook Report 2014
9.4.2 Risks to heritage values
Outlook Report 2009: Not assessed
Current summary and assessment components Overall risk to heritage values: The close connections between the Region’s ecosystem and many of its heritage values mean that the projected risk of almost all threats is the same in both assessments. As a result, the most serious risks to the Region’s heritage values are similarly climate change, land-based run-off, coastal development and some aspects of direct use. Climate change: The threats to the ecosystem associated with climate change flow on to present a serious risk to heritage values, particularly the property’s outstanding universal value. Some shallow-water Indigenous and historic heritage sites are also at risk. Coastal development: Legacy and contemporary changes in terrestrial habitats as a result of coastal development will continue to affect the outstanding universal value in forthcoming decades and the integrity of the world heritage property. Natural scenic values may also be further diminished, along with Indigenous heritage values. Land-based run-off: The widespread effects of pollutants (including marine debris) in land-based run-off will continue to diminish many attributes of outstanding universal value, especially in inshore areas. Resulting declines in ecosystem values will affect related Indigenous heritage values and the overall aesthetic value of wide areas of the Region. Direct use: The risks that direct use presents to the ecosystem are reflected in its risk to heritage values. In addition, if heritage values are not properly identified and considered, there is a risk that activities could damage (potentially irreversibly) heritage sites, reduce natural beauty, and affect the ability of Traditional Owners to undertake cultural practices. Of particular concern are effects on Indigenous heritage values from incompatible uses.
Assessment grade and trend
Very high risk
Given current management arrangements, any threats considered likely or certain to occur are predicted to have no more than insignificant consequences for the Region’s heritage values. There may be minor or moderate consequences for heritage values for other less likely threats.
Trend since 2009
Given current management arrangements, few of the threats considered likely or certain to occur are predicted to have moderate consequences for the Region’s heritage values and none will have catastrophic consequences. Some unlikely threats may have major consequences for the Region’s heritage values.
Increasing Stable Decreasing No consistent trend
Given current management arrangements, many of the likely or almost certain threats are predicted to have moderate or major consequences for the Region’s heritage values.
Very high risk
Given current management arrangements, there are likely or almost certain threats that are predicted to have catastrophic consequences on the Region’s heritage values.
New assessment for this report; no trend provided
Adequate high-quality evidence and high level of consensus Limited evidence or limited consensus Inferred, very limited evidence
9.4.3 Overall summary of risks to the Region’s values