GREAT BARRIER REEF
// Outlook Report 2014
The development of partnerships and stewardship arrangements is one of the strongest aspects of management of the Region and knowledge of stakeholders is the highest ranked indicator overall. The Reef Guardian program of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority is an acknowledged example of a successful stewardship approach. More broadly, the success of Reef Plan depends on forming partnerships with regional natural resource management bodies and, through them, with land managers. Partnerships and stewardship programs are also key elements of management with the tourism and fishing sectors, for example in planning for climate change, adoption of best practices and reef health monitoring. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s engagement activities are underpinned by long-standing consultation arrangements with key sectors and regions, including through Local Marine Advisory Committees and Reef Advisory Committees.
Partnerships and stewardship arrangements are one of the strongest aspects of management.
Lama Lama Traditional Owners taking part in a joint management patrol
7.4.3 Knowledge, innovation and integration
Research and monitoring: The Outlook Report process and the comprehensive strategic assessment for the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area have accumulated and consolidated knowledge relevant to the Region and made it more widely available. In addition these processes have identified key knowledge gaps, for example through the scientific information needs process following the Outlook Report 200910, and have stimulated programs and projects to fill them. Monitoring relevant to management has expanded, both in scope and scale. The long-term monitoring program managed by the Australian Institute of Marine Science continues to provide critical data on the Region’s ecosystem and demonstrates the value of maintaining consistent monitoring over an extended time period. The recently developed social and economic long-term monitoring program is beginning to address deficiencies in understanding of socioeconomic aspects. The development of an integrated monitoring framework and program is a positive initiative that will help address deficiencies in monitoring, especially in relation to cumulative impacts and overall ecosystem health. The Eye on the Reef program consolidates monitoring and reporting by managers, Reef users and the community and already has a large set of data across a wide geographic area. Reporting and evaluation: The five-yearly Great Barrier Reef Outlook Report process provides the most comprehensive, regular basis for evaluation and reporting on management of the Great Barrier Reef. Its model and process, including the independent assessment of management effectiveness, has been widely acknowledged as ground-breaking. It has been adapted for Australian State of Environment reporting and elsewhere, including internationally. The five-yearly reports can be supported by in-depth assessments of particular issues, for example the 2012 report on the outlook for coastal ecosystems19. Up to the end of 2013, implementation of Reef Plan had been evaluated in three annual report cards. The process and content of Reef Plan reporting in the latest report card released in 2013 is significantly improved by contributions from all partners in the program and enhanced depth and quality of monitoring information. All Australian Government-funded projects require structured monitoring and evaluation. The draft reports of the comprehensive strategic assessment of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area present a one-off, comprehensive evaluation of marine and coastal management in the Region.
An integrated framework will help address deficiencies in monitoring.