Re­searchers put spot­light on ‘threat­ened com­mu­ni­ties’

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

RE­SEARCH has been con­ducted into the re­silience of com­mu­ni­ties threat­ened by cli­mate change to en­sure the fu­ture of com­mu­ni­ties liv­ing and work­ing along the co­ral reef.

Dr Karen Vella along with col­leagues from James Cook Univer­sity, CSIRO and the Great Bar­rier Reef Marine Park Author­ity worked in col­lab­o­ra­tion to as­sess com­mu­ni­ties liv­ing along co­ral reefs to help man­age the im­pact of cli­mate change for a sus­tain­able fu­ture.

“It’s re­ally new and an ex­per­i­men­tal idea us­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal-type re­port­ing and our con­cept of so­cial re­silience mapped to­gether to un­der­stand the health of com­mu­ni­ties,” she said.

“It’s a use­ful way of un­der­stand­ing man­age­ment ar­range­ments to ef­fec­tively man­age the reef and look af­ter the en­vi­ron­ment at a level needed for sus­tain­abil­ity.”

The sci­en­tists re­searched the wet trop­ics, in­clud­ing the Dou­glas re­gion, where Dr Vella said they found both the econ­omy of the reef and level of un­der­stand­ing and aware­ness of cli­mate change was vul­ner­a­ble.

“Emerg­ing ca­pac­ity ex­ists within the re­gion for some strate­gic lead­er­ship, par­tic­u­larly to help the community adapt and re­spond to cli­mate change,” she said.

“We need to help con­di­tion com­mu­ni­ties to be more re­silient be­cause the im­pact as­so­ci­ated with cli­mate change means com­mu­ni­ties have to re­spond to de­clin­ing re­source con­di­tions.

“Re­silient com­mu­ni­ties are able to over­come chal­lenges and po­si­tion our­selves to continue to thrive and bet­ter man­age en­vi­ron­ment and is putting back the so­cial di­men­sion into the de­bate.”

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