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Every five years, we publish an Outlook Report that examines the Great Barrier Reef’s health, pressures, and likely future. We also produce an in brief summary of the report.

The report is required under Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act 1975 (section 54) and aims to provide a regular and reliable means of assessing reef health and management in an accountable and transparent way.

The 2019 report is the third comprehensive report in the series, and identifies the Great Barrier Reef Region still faces significant pressures ranging in scale from local to global.

The report finds the greatest threat to the Reef is still climate change. The other main threats are associated with coastal development, land-based run-off, and direct human use (such as illegal fishing).

Since 2014, management initiatives and local actions have demonstrated positive outcomes for less complex and small scale activities, such as ports management and tourism.

However, achieving outcomes on the ground continues to be difficult for complex and spatially broad threats, such as climate change and land-based run-off.

Significant global action to address climate change is critical to slowing the deterioration of the Reef’s ecosystem and heritage values and supporting recovery. Such actions will complement and greatly increase the effectiveness of local management actions in the Reef and its catchment.

The Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan and the Great Barrier Reef Blueprint for Climate Resilience and Adaptation outline key management actions being taken to reduce threats to the Reef.

Outlook Report 2019 front cover image

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority is committed to continual improvement. During the production and delivery of the 2019 Outlook Report feedback was received from Reef Authority staff, stakeholders, and reviewers regarding how the Outlook Report is developed. This feedback was explored using a combination of internal desktop analyses and independent reviews. 

The analyses confirmed that the current framework and methods used are generally clear, contemporary, and consistent with best practice. Several opportunities for improvement were identified and will be adopted by the Reef Authority in preparing future Outlook Reports. These include:

  • Making greater use of online formats. The 2024 edition will be available as a website as well as the usual downloadable file.
  • Refining and building on the methods used:
    • to elicit expert opinion at workshops,
    • to assess risk levels for threats to the Reef, and 
    • in the review of management effectiveness that informs Chapter 7 of the Outlook Report. 
  •  Improving articulation and documentation of the above methods. 

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Created
Updated 1 Feb 2024
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