Effects of Natural Disasters on Social-Economic Dimensions of Reef-Based Industries
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In coastal areas extreme weather events such as floods and cyclones can have debilitating effects on the social and economic viability of reef-based industries. In March 2011, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority implemented an Extreme Weather Response Program (EWRP) following a period of intense flooding and cyclonic activity between December 2010 and February 2011. In this presentation we discuss the results of one project within the EWRP which aimed to: 1) assess the impacts of extreme weather events on regional tourism and commercial fishing industries; and 2) develop and road test an impact assessment matrix to improve government and industry responses to extreme weather events. Results revealed that extreme weather events both directly and indirectly affected all five of the measured dimensions, i.e. ecological, personal, social, built and economic. The severity of these impacts, combined with their location and the nature of their business, influenced how tourism operators and fishers assessed the events (low, medium, high or extreme). The impact assessment tool was revised following feedback obtained during the workshops, and will prove useful in predicting the potential direct and indirect impacts of future extreme weather events.
Queensland Coastal Conference 2011
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Regional Analysis and Development