Outlook reporting as a tool for strategic management of coral reefs
Outlook reporting is emerging as a valuable tool for assessing ecosystem trajectories and anticipating future threats as a basis for strategic, integrated management of coastal and marine systems. In the Great Barrier Reef, outlook reporting has become a central part of strategic planning, policy and budgeting for long term reef resilience. Outlook reporting also has potential to assist with strategic, integrated management of coastal and marine areas in the Caribbean.
Outlook Report for Soufriere Marine Area, St Lucia
Under the Australia Caribbean Coral Reef Collaboration, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority partnered with the Soufriere Marine Management Association (SMMA) and the Piton Management Area (PMA) to develop an Outlook Report for the Soufriere marine area. The process of gathering data, developing scenarios and assessing future risks has provided an important opportunity for stakeholders and policymakers to explore possible and desired futures for the Soufriere marine environment. It also provided the basis for identifying strategies for sustaining the ecosystem services that underpin community wellbeing and development in a changing climate.
The experiences of the SMMA and PMA have demonstrated that the Outlook reporting approach which was developed in the Great Barrier Reef can also be applied to marine management areas with lower resources and less access to published research and scientific expertise.