About this report
Comprehensive strategic assessment of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area
Between 2012 and 2014, the Australian and Queensland governments undertook a comprehensive strategic assessment of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, comprising assessments for the Region5 and for the adjacent coastal zone12. Undertaken under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth), the assessments aimed to improve management of existing and emerging risks to the Great Barrier Reef. They also form part of the Australian Government’s response to the World Heritage Committee’s concerns regarding development impacts on the World Heritage Area originally raised at its meeting in June 2011. The strategic assessment process had a different scope and purpose to the five-yearly Great Barrier Reef Outlook Report cycle. Both reports examine the condition, threats, management and likely future of the Great Barrier Reef. While the Outlook Report is a regular assessment of the Region’s ecosystem and its heritage values, the strategic assessment was a one-off report that focussed on all matters of national environmental significance relevant to the Region. It also makes recommendations for improvements to management. Matters of national environmental significance are Australia’s environmental assets. Those relevant to the Region are world heritage properties, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, national heritage places, Commonwealth marine areas, listed migratory and threatened species, and wetlands of international importance. Because the values and attributes of the matters of national environmental significance are part of the Region’s ecosystem and its heritage values, this Outlook Report draws extensively on the information contained in the strategic assessment draft report and has been informed by the public submissions received on that draft.