Screen Shot 2014-10-28 at 3.49.32 pmWith the Great Barrier Reef in decline, and development pressures mounting in and around the Reef, national and international spotlights have been turned on government policies. One response by the Australian and Queensland Governments is their draft Reef 2050 Long-term Sustainability Plan. The Conservation Planning Group, through Bob Pressey, contributed to a submission on the Plan by the Australian Academy of Science. The submission, summarized in a recent article in The Conversation, found numerous weaknesses in the Plan, including no mention of climate change as an important factor in the Reef’s decline, despite Queensland’s coal exports contributing substantially to atmospheric CO2. Another important omission from the Plan was a coherent strategy for assessing cumulative impacts. Attempts to assess cumulative impacts on the Reef have been rudimentary, as one of the Group’s recent papers shows, although current research from our Group is helping to understand cumulative impacts through our project on development scenarios for the Reef’s coastal zone.

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