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Great Barrier Reef Strategic Assessment

Consultation on the draft reports for the Great Barrier Reef Strategic Assessment has now closed.

The Australian and Queensland governments are committed to protecting the Great Barrier Reef. As part of this commitment, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and Queensland Government are undertaking a comprehensive strategic assessment of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area and adjacent coastal zone.

There are two parts to the comprehensive strategic assessment—a marine component and a coastal zone component – led by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and the Queensland Government respectively.

The comprehensive strategic assessment is being conducted in accordance with the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and is one of the most comprehensive strategic assessments ever undertaken.

Draft strategic assessment and program reports were released for public consultation on 1 November 2013 until 31 January 2014. The draft reports look at the Reef’s values and how these values are being protected now and into the future, while enabling the sustainable development of the coastal zone.

Feedback and comments received during consultation are being used to inform the preparation of final reports for the Great Barrier Reef Strategic Assessment. The final reports, as well as a report on the consultation, will be provided to the Australian Minister for the Environment for consideration in mid 2014.

Background

The strategic assessment responds to the UNESCO World Heritage Committee's decision of July 2011 that the Australian Government undertakes a comprehensive strategic assessment of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.

As part of this process, the Australian and Queensland governments will build upon their robust environmental and development management frameworks to protect the Great Barrier Reef's unique environmental values. This will be achieved through a range of new measures designed to strengthen the protection of Matters of National Environmental Significance, including the Outstanding Universal Value of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.

The coastal zone strategic assessment is being undertaken according to the Terms of Reference which were finalised following public consultation conducted in early 2012.

Consistent with the Terms of Reference, the draft coastal zone strategic assessment reports have been independently reviewed.

Further information

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