The Great Barrier Reef Outlook Report 2009, prepared by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, is the first comprehensive assessment of the health of the Great Barrier Reef and identifies the key challenges facing it now and into the future. It is the first report of its kind and provides a reliable and scientifically credible assessment of and outlook for the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage site.

The Report states that the outlook for the Great Barrier Reef ecosystem is at a crossroad, and it is decisions made in the next few years that are likely to determine its long-term future. Unavoidably, future predictions of climate change dominate most aspects of the Great Barrier Reef's outlook over the next few decades. The extent and persistence of the damage to the ecosystem will depend to a large degree on the amount of change in the world's climate and on the resilience of the Great Barrier Reef ecosystem in the immediate future.

The Outlook Report identifies climate change, continued declining water quality from catchment runoff, loss of coastal habitats from coastal development and remaining impacts from fishing and illegal fishing and poaching as the priority issues reducing the resilience of the Great Barrier Reef.

The full Report and an 'In Brief' version are available on the web at <>

Further detail on the evidence that was used to develop the Outlook Report is available at Outlook Online which provides direct extracts from, and links to, the information sources.  This provides a huge source of additional information about the GBRWHA.

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For young people, the 7th episode of the 'Patrimonito's World Heritage Adventures' cartoon animated series is on 'Climate Change and the Great Barrier Reef', and is released by the World Heritage Centre in collaboration with the Australian Government Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA). The DVD copies of Episode n°7 are available from the World Heritage Centre and are also available online at