the likely severity of their consequences (see Chapter 9). Increased understanding of the effects and spatial extent of pesticides from land-based run-off has reduced its assessed risk — the only threat where the risk has decreased.
10.3.5 Prospects for the outstanding universal value of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area
Future prospects for the Reef’s Outstanding Universal Value depend on concerted global and local actions.
Although many of the attributes contributing to the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area’s outstanding universal value remain in good or very good condition, the condition of many has declined since 1981. Factors external to the area — climate change, land-based runoff and coastal development — are affecting the property’s integrity. These are the most complex and wide-ranging of the threats assessed. They are combining with other threats within the property to increase the cumulative risk to its future. Although management continues to be effective for many activities within and adjacent to the World Heritage Area, there remain difficulties in achieving positive outcomes on the ground. That the Great Barrier Reef continues to be highly valued by the global, Australian and local communities provides evidence for societal support for the continued protection of its outstanding universal value. Prospects for the future of the Great Barrier Reef’s outstanding universal value depend on global action to address the causes of climate change, and on coordinated, targeted and dedicated long-term commitments to continue to address the risks within and adjacent to the property. There is evidence that when there are concerted efforts to address damaging practices, impacts can be halted and reversed. There is no short-term single action that will secure the outstanding universal value of the Great Barrier Reef. However, working at global, regional and local levels will be the best solution to preserving the world heritage area.
10.4 Current and future initiatives to improve resilience and protect values
The Outlook Report 2009 recognised that building on the existing management arrangements in the Region would help address the key threats to the Region and that these actions and the degree to which they were effectively implemented would strongly influence the resilience of the Reef ecosystem in the future.
10.4.1 Contributions to protection and management
In addition to a range of Australian and Queensland government agencies, there are many other partners that continue to make significant contributions to protecting and managing the Region. Marine Park users are continuing to adopt best practice standards during their activities in the Region. For example, through the High Standard Tourism program and voluntary actions, tourism operators are incorporating best practices into their activities. In addition, many stakeholders and members of the community continue to participate in research and monitoring programs such as the Eye on the Reef program including the Reef Health and Impact Surveys, Tourism Weekly monitoring, Sightings Network and Rapid Monitoring survey program. The scientific community actively contributes by undertaking research to address key issues facing the Region.
Many partners continue to contribute to protection and management.