2014 Summary of assessment
Outlook for the ecosystem
The Great Barrier Reef ecosystem is under pressure. Cumulative effects are diminishing the ecosystem’s ability to recover from disturbances. Some threats are increasing, driven mainly by climate change, economic growth and population growth. The emerging success of some initiatives (such as improving land-based run-off) means some threats may be reduced in the future. However, there are significant lags from when actions are taken to improvements being evident in the ecosystem. More than ever, a focus on building resilience by reducing all threats is important in protecting the Region’s ecosystem and its Outstanding Universal Value into the future. The close connection between the Region’s ecosystem and its heritage values means that many are deteriorating as ecosystem condition declines, for example Indigenous heritage values. Similarly, attributes that contribute to the Outstanding Universal Value of the Great Barrier Reef are under pressure from a range of threats. The Region’s social significance, built around a history of personal experiences, will continue to shift as use changes. Underwater aesthetic values will likely continue to decline. The outlook for historic heritage values will be influenced by how well sites are recorded and maintained. Increasing recognition of the Region’s heritage values improves their likely outlook.
Poor, Deteriorated, Deteriorating
Outlook for heritage values
Full assessment summary: see Section 10.5
< Photograph © Chris Jones