Coal, cumulative impacts, and the Great Barrier Reef

Grech, A., Pressey, R.L., and Day, J.C. (2016) Coal, cumulative impacts, and the Great Barrier Reef. Conservation Letters, 9 (3). pp. 200-207.

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Abstract

The Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, Australia, covers over 348,000 km 2 of tropical marine ecosystems of global significance. In July 2015, the World Heritage Committee called attention to the cumulative impacts of climate change, poor water quality, and coastal development on the region's outstanding universal value, but stopped short of inscribing the Great Barrier Reef on the List of World Heritage in Danger. Restoring the region's values is hindered by an environmental decision-making process that fails to incorporate cumulative impacts, including the climate change impacts of greenhouse gas emissions sourced from one of Australia's largest exports, thermal coal. We identify policy and processes that enable a more comprehensive consideration of the cumulative effects of coal mining by environmental decision-makers. Implementing cumulative impact assessment requires a collaborative and transparent program of planning and monitoring independent of Government and mine proponents that evaluates local, regional, and global impacts. The future of the Great Barrier Reef depends on transformational change in the cumulative assessment of Australian coal mines.

Item ID: 46325
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Additional Information:

© 2015 The Authors. Conservation Letters published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

ISSN: 1755-263X
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC)
Date Deposited: 14 Nov 2016 03:06
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050204 Environmental Impact Assessment @ 70%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity @ 30%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960307 Effects of Climate Change and Variability on Australia (excl. Social Impacts) @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9607 Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards > 960701 Coastal and Marine Management Policy @ 50%
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