Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Great Barrier Reef Outlook Report launched

The Great Barrier Reef Outlook Report 2009 was officially launched today by the Hon. Peter Garrett AM MP, Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts.

The Great Barrier Reef Outlook Report 2009 is a summary of the past and present condition of the environmental, economic and social values of the Great Barrier Reef and presents its possible future.

This first Outlook Report highlights that the Great Barrier Reef is one of the most diverse and remarkable ecosystems in the world and remains one of the most healthy coral reef ecosystems. Climate change, continued declining water quality from catchment runoff, loss of coastal habitats from coastal development and a small number of impacts from fishing are identified as the priority issues reducing the resilience of the Great Barrier Reef.

The Report recognises the important social, cultural, economic and environmental contributions of the Great Barrier Reef and identifies that while the Great Barrier Reef continues to be one of the healthiest coral reef ecosystems in the world, the outlook for this World Heritage listed natural icon is now at a crossroad. Decisions made in the next few years are likely to determine its long-term future.

The Outlook Report has been prepared by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority based on the best available information. Many people with an interest in the Great Barrier Reef have contributed to its development, including leading Great Barrier Reef scientists, industry representatives and members of regional communities. The Report was independently peer reviewed.

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority presented this first Outlook Report for the Great Barrier Reef to the Minister on 30 June 2009 and it has now been tabled in the Australian Parliament. The full Report and an 'In Brief' version are available at along with Information Sheets and a link to the Minister's Media Release.