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Poverty and Reefs

3.6 Summary

Whilst the reef provides a wide range of benefits to many people, especially to the poor, those benefit flows are changing as a result of factors that are impacting upon the reef. Some of these impacts are caused by the very people who depend upon the reef. Many more are caused by changes outside the control of reefdependent communities. Some of these changes are occurring at the moment, others are predicted to occur in the future as a result of climate change and other trends.

The impact of these changes varies between different stakeholder groups, but in general the poor are finding that their livelihoods are being stressed more than most and they are the least able to respond. The changes are likely to result in the decline of a wide array of benefit flows, to greater exclusion of the poor, increasing conflict, criminalisation of the poor, declining food security and more unstable livelihoods. As mentioned in previous sections, many groups of people who are currently above the poverty line are likely to fall below it as a result of these changes.
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