Drivers of Change

C Susan Curnock 2012 DSC 5403 LR

The Great Barrier Reef (GBR) region, including the people and industries it supports, is influenced by a range of drivers from global to local scales. A driver is any natural or human-induced factor that directly or indirectly causes a change in the GBR system. Drivers are important to monitor so that we can (i) understand how and why the variables we monitor may change over time, (ii) anticipate and better manage outcomes, and (iii) document the context or “backdrop” of change as we track social and economic trends into the future. This is especially critical given the rapid pace of change today.

The SELTMP 2014: Drivers of Change in the Great Barrier Reef technical report is part of a series from the Social and Economic Long Term Monitoring Program. This report presents drivers identified through a “bottom-up” approach involving end-user workshops, and a “top down” approach based on scientific frameworks and literature. It highlights six categories of drivers of high relevance to the variables being monitored in SELTMP:

  1. Economic
  2. Social and Cultural
  3. Demographic
  4. Politics, Management, and Governance
  5. Communication and Media and
  6. Science and Technology.

Indicators in these categories collectively provide a picture of the broad forces shaping the GBR and peoples’ relationships with it.

Results from this technical report have assisted the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority with their preparation of the 2014 Outlook Report and the Strategic Assessment of the GBRWHA. Consultation with Reef and other natural resource managers, Traditional Owners, industry and community groups is continuing, to ensure findings from SELTMP are available to address information needs, to improve management of the GBR, and to enhance the wellbeing of Reef users and coastal communities.


Link to 1pp factsheet:


Link to 2013 technical report:


2014 technical report coming soon!