Abstract: Increasing threats to the GBR have placed considerable importance on the creation of viable management responses. Critical to the design and implementation of resource management plans is the identification of key drivers of change. Indirect drivers of change such as perceptions, attitudes and beliefs provide an important context for understanding individual behaviours, informing management programs and influencing environmental decision-making. CSIRO conducted a nationally representative online survey of more than 2,000 Australian residents to explore four key areas related to the GBR: inspiration, visitation, attitudes and perceptions of threats. We found that Australians are overwhelmingly concerned about and connected to the GBR. Additionally, the GBR is Australia’s most inspiring natural or cultural icon and a strong majority of respondents want to visit the GBR or have done so already. Respondents believe climate change and pollution are the biggest threats to the GBR, most people are proud the GBR is listed as a World Heritage Area and they also feel a collective responsibility to protect it. Respondents believe the GBR is part of their Australian identity and they are concerned about the impacts of climate change. This presentation discusses the practical implications for resource managers, communication approaches and behaviour change programs.
Biography: Jeremy Goldberg is a PhD student in the JCU School of Business and CSIRO Ecosystem Science group. Previous employment with the GBRMPA, GCRMN, and AIMS led Jeremy to the social sciences, and his research explores the role of psychology and communication in empowering people to change their behaviour and thus to become more resilient to climate change impacts. His research uses broad-scale socio-economic surveys and small-scale focus groups, conducted in partnership with the CSIRO’s newly established Social and Economic Long-Term Monitoring Program (SELTMP), to explore behavioural influences among targeted GBR user groups. Jeremy is supervised by Alastair Birtles and Peter Case from the School of Business and Nadine Marshall from CSIRO.