Limits to Climate Change Adaptation in the Great Barrier Reef

Author: NCCARF
Year: 2012

This factsheet summarises key findings from a case study on limits to adaptation on the Great Barrier Reef. In consultation with representatives of state and local government, the fishing and tourism industries, non-government, and scientific institutions, researchers used future scenarios to investigate adaptation options for the fishing and tourism industries. The study identified a number of critical limits embedded in a wider political and socio-economic context which, while surmountable, were not easy to overcome at the operator or, in some cases, even the sector or industry scale. Limits to the common good exist as beneficial outcomes for Reef industries and individuals often cannot be achieved through individual action but necessitate co-operation within and between sectors, and with external stakeholders. Due to the operation of the Reefs fishing and tourism industries in a competitive global market, both their economic viability and adaptation strategies can be limited by global market factors. Limits by reputation are also an issue; the reputation of the Reef was perceived to be unfairly eroded by increased research and communication on the damage from bleaching, cyclone events, and other threats, which undermines benefits from adaptation. This factsheet contains further information on these limitations as well as the current stressors, and future climate scenarios and impacts predicted for the Region. This is one of the six case studies conducted for NCCARFs Limits to Adaptation project to explore the underlying causes and potential to transcend limits in particular regions.

Download publicationView Resource