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Objectives for management of socio-ecological systems in the Great Barrier Reef region, Australia


Van Putten, IE and Dichmont, CM and Dutra, LXC and Thebaud, O and Deng, RA and Jebreen, E and Owens, R and Pascual, R and Read, M and Thompson, C, Objectives for management of socio-ecological systems in the Great Barrier Reef region, Australia, Regional Environmental Change, 16, (5) pp. 1417-1431. ISSN 1436-3798 (2016) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2015 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg

DOI: doi:10.1007/s10113-015-0867-1


A wide range of goals and objectives have to be taken into account in natural resources management. Defining these objectives in operational terms, including dimensions such as sustainability, productivity, and equity, is by no means easy, especially if they must capture the diversity of community and stakeholder values. This is especially true in the coastal zone where land activities affect regional marine ecosystems. In this study, the aim was firstly to identify and hierarchically organise the goals and objectives for coastal systems, as defined by local stakeholders. Two case study areas are used within the Great Barrier Reef region being Mackay and Bowen-Burdekin. Secondly, the aim was to identify similarities between the case study results and thus develop a generic set of goals to be used as a starting point in other coastal communities. Results show that overarching high-level goals have nested sub-goals that contain a set of more detailed regional objectives. The similarities in high-level environmental, governance, and socio-economic goals suggest that regionally specific objectives can be developed based on a generic set of goals. The prominence of governance objectives reflects local stakeholder perceptions that current coastal zone management is not achieving the outcomes they feel important and that there is a need for increased community engagement and co-management. More importantly, it raises the question of how to make issues relevant for the local community and entice participation in the local management of public resources to achieve sustainable environmental, social, and economic management outcomes.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:coastal management, management objectives, case study research, community consultation, Great Barrier Reef
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental management
Research Field:Environmental management
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Assessment and management of terrestrial ecosystems
UTAS Author:Van Putten, IE (Dr Ingrid Van Putten)
UTAS Author:Pascual, R (Ms Richelle Pascual)
ID Code:114856
Year Published:2016
Web of Science® Times Cited:7
Deposited By:Sustainable Marine Research Collaboration
Deposited On:2017-03-01
Last Modified:2017-11-03

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