Researchers put spotlight on ‘threatened communities’
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.”