The Great Barrier Reef Outlook Report 2009 is a stock-take of the Great Barrier Reef, its management and its future.

The aim of the Outlook Report is to provide information about:

Dr. Luke Shoo is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the School of Biological Sciences, University of Queensland. Dr. Shoo has worked on a wide range of systems from mountaintop birds in tropical cloud forests to naturally regenerating rainforest in former agricultural landscapes. He has a strong interest in topical conservation issues including prioritisation of conservation actions to reduce tropical deforestation and restore degraded environments, and management of biodiversity under climate change.

The project is focused on naturally regenerating forests (regrowth) and their potential to offer a much needed low cost option to restore critical habitat over large areas. It will assist decisions about how to most efficiently restore biodiversity to degraded rainforest landscapes, by providing new knowledge about the outcomes of lower-cost regrowth (including potential for minimum intervention management).

Planning systems, governance structures and institutions that capture the traditional knowledge and associations of Indigenous peoples into biodiversity decision-making and management remain elusive. Key planning initiatives in the Wet Tropics region have advanced the institutional capability to engage Indigenous peoples into biodiversity management, including the Wet Tropics Regional Agreement, the Aboriginal Cultural and Natural Resource Management Plan, several Indigenous Land Use Agreements (ILUA), and the nomination for national heritage listing of the Aboriginal cultural values.

Implementation of networks of protected areas is the single most widely advocated action to protect marine biodiversity; the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park was one of the first and is one of the largest examples of such a network in the world. While some effects of marine protected areas can be seen rapidly, there are also long term changes that may develop over 1-2 decades. Surveys of the matched pairs of reefs during the term of the NERP Program will enable the longer-term effects of zoning to be assessed eight and ten years after the new zoning plan came into force.

This project proposes to provide information and tools to enable scientists and management agencies to predict and limit the impacts of extreme climatic events on Australia’s biodiversity.  It aims to determine the exposure, sensitivity and vulnerability of Wet Tropics biodiversity to climatic extremes, and assess contemporary and future impacts.


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