Coral Reef Futures and Resilience Economics

At Crooked Timber, Australian economist John Quiggin reflects on the recent Coral Reef Futures Forum, which was recently organized by Resilience Alliance member Terry Hughes group at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reefs Studies in Australia. The forum aimed to discus how global changes such as fishing, climate change, and ocean acidification are threatening coral reefs. John Quiggin writes:

I spent the last couple of days in Canberra at the Coral Reef Futures Forum, as part of my new Federation Fellowship is to look at economic approaches to management of the Great Barrier Reef. As one of the speakers said, a lot of the talks had people staring at their shoes in gloom, though the tone got a little more positive towards the end. …

The most hopeful view is that, if we can fix the local threats like overfishing and poor water quality, the resulting increase in resilience (part of my project is to develop a more rigorous understanding of this popular buzzword) will offset moderate global warming, so that if we can stabilise the climate (an increase of no more than 2 degrees) we might save at least some reef systems.

It will be interesting to see what type of resilience economics John Quiggin develops. Several other economists have been working on the economics of resilience, such as Wisconsin econmist Buz Brock, Charles Perrings at Arizona State U, as well as Anne Sophie Crepin and others at the Beijer Institute, but the there is a lot that needs to be done to create a broadly useful resilience economics.

3 thoughts on “Coral Reef Futures and Resilience Economics”

  1. Interesting blog. Coincidentally, on Friday I posted a link to “Resilience Science” and added you to our blog roll over at “”.

    It was interesting to see you touch on economics again in today’s post.

    Good stuff and I like the line “but the there is a lot that needs to be done to create a broadly useful resilience economics” thus suggesting that economists have yet to make any useful contribution to the “resilience” literature.

    A potentially interesting research area.

  2. Artificial reefs can be used to provide habitat for homeless fish and a protected area for DNA transfer. Manmade reefs take some of the pressure off natural reefs. In shallow water, if art is part of the reef, it becomes an eco-tourism asset.

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