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Project 4.8.5 - Incorporating stakeholders and their values, knowledge and aspirations in the care and development of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park

Project Leader and Host Organisation

Dr Stephen Sutton, James Cook University

Project Description and Objectives

For detailed descriptions of the outputs for this project for Year 4 (2009/2010) of the MTSRF Research Programme, see the Annual Research Plan.

The overarching goal of Project 4.8.5 is to provide information that will enhance our capacity to incorporate social considerations in decision making, predict, evaluate and mitigate negative social impacts of changes in policy or resource condition, and facilitate the development of community partnerships and community engagement in research and management of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area (GBRWHA).

Specific objectives of Project 4.8.5 are to:

  • Understand and document the impacts of the Great Barrier Reef Zoning Plan on use (tourism, recreation, and fishing) of the World Heritage Area and users;

  • Develop, test, and parameterise a set of indicators that can be used to assess change in the socio-economic environment of use of the World Heritage Area in response to policy or environmental changes, utilising the framework currently being developed through the MTSRF Interim Funding program; and

  • Explore and document the social values, attitudes, perceptions, knowledge, concerns and aspirations related to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and its use, management, and conservation held by Marine Park users and the wider community.

End-user Reference Group

Parts of this project, in particular, as related to Objective (b), is being undertaken in collaboration with research end-users.  A one-day workshop with end-users was held in Townsville during the first year of the project (2006/2007).  One outcome of that workshop was the establishment of a reference group that consists of representatives of the identified end-users of the project outcomes.  The group is kept informed of project progress via email updates on a regular basis, and participates in relevant project activities, for example selection, review and testing of socio-economic indicators.

Further Information

Dr David Souter
GBR Program Research Manager
Reef and Rainforest Research Centre Limited
Tel: (07) 4781 6013


Major Project Outputs

The Annual Research Plans, or ARPs, outline the specific tasks, products, budgets and staff for each research project within each of the Research Themes and Programs of the MTSRF.  The ARPs also outline the key deliverables, or 'project milestones' (e.g. major reports, journal articles, communications products) to be achieved.

An ARP is developed for each operating year of the MTSRF (2006-2010).

Details of this and previous years' outputs from this project are included in each of the Annual Research Plans

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