Research to support the marine strategic assessment

We used the most up-to-date research to inform a comprehensive strategic assessment of the Great Barrier Reef Region and a program to guide the Reef’s management for the next 25 years.

Early in the strategic assessment process, it was identified that more data was needed to fill some key knowledge gaps and critical information requirements, and to address the recommendations of the World Heritage Committee.

The Department of the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority worked together to fund research to feed directly in to the strategic assessment and inform regional sustainability planning.

The research was funded under the Sustainable Regional Development program, which aims to secure a sustainable future for Australia’s high growth regional areas through regional sustainability planning and strategic assessments.

The funded projects build on the substantial research investment the Australian Government is making through the National Environmental Research Program Tropical Ecosystems Hub.

Regional Sustainability Planning Projects


Understanding outstanding universal value

Informing management of coastal development

Cumulative impact management and integrated monitoring

  • Great Barrier Reef coastal ecosystems assessment framework:  to examine ecosystem services provided by coastal ecosystems in seven basins, impacts (present, past and future), and identification of areas important for protection or restoration.
  • Great Barrier Reef resilience decision framework: to develop a qualitative framework for understanding cumulative impacts on the resilience of coral reef and seagrass ecosystems to inform decision making in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.
  • Integrated monitoring framework for the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area: to establish a framework for a standardised and integrated ecological, social and economic monitoring program to address critical information needs, align existing monitoring programs and provide a baseline for assessing the condition of values and effects of pressures, as well as the impact on those values.