University Of Tasmania

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

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-19, 02:37 authored by Elizabeth Van PuttenElizabeth Van Putten, Dichmont, CM, Dutra, LXC, Thebaud, O, Deng, RA, Jebreen, E, Owens, R, Pascual, R, Read, M, Thompson, C
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.


Publication title

Regional Environmental Change










Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies


Springer International Publishing

Place of publication


Rights statement

Copyright 2015 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Assessment and management of terrestrial ecosystems