Great Barrier Reef – from the paddock to planetary boundaries

Crawford School of Public Policy | Executive course
Policy Fundamentals


A deep understanding of Natural Resource Management (NRM) is crucial to the effective management of the system. Throughout the program participants will be guided by experts in the field to plan strategic policy interventions and broaden their knowledge of NRM to skilfully identify opportunities free from path dependence, ethical dimensions and manage NRM contracts and relationships.

Course overview

Challenge: How do we manage and protect the many values of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) in a rapidly changing world? Given its size, multiple jurisdictions, connectedness to the surrounding world and the enormity of the growing threat of climate change, how to we assess the different policy pathways available?

Proposition: Current solutions being developed to mitigate impacts on the GBR are piecemeal, ad hoc and largely reactive. Scale, politics and uncertainty are all conspiring to defeat our best efforts. Mapping the issues connected to the GBR issue over multiple scales of time and space will help stakeholders better understand how the dimension they are interested in is connected to and influenced by what’s happening at other scales. The landholder’s interests are connected to and influenced by what is happening in his/her catchment, the region, the state, adjoining nations and so on up to how our very planet is operating.

Learning outcomes: - a capacity to envisage the GBR as a multi-scaled complex adaptive system - understand the actors involved at different scales, and the connections across scales - develop criteria for assessing the potential of different policy approaches across the GBR system

Updated:  26 October 2021/Responsible Officer:  Crawford Engagement/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team