Science for management
We use the best available knowledge to manage the Great Barrier Reef and ensure it remains healthy for future generations.
Scientific information is one major source of knowledge that is contributed by a wide range of research institutions, government agencies, universities, commercial companies and consultants, stakeholders, Traditional Owners and community members.
We engage with research providers and major research programs through a number of long-standing formal relationships, including participation in relevant boards and committees, and formal membership in research teams, as well as through one-on-one communication between individual staff members and the scientific community.
Our science information needs
Our Science Strategy and Information Needs 2014-2019 sets out our future scientific information needs. It aims to ensure scientific activities are relevant, targeted to address critical management issues, and that scientific outputs are easily accessible.
The strategy draws on our Great Barrier Reef Outlook Report 2014 and strategic assessment that outline the Reef’s health, management and likely future, and is supported by a searchable register of detailed questions.
How we use the information
Our management is based on a comprehensive and up-to-date understanding of the Region – its values and the pressures affecting it. We use scientific information in:
- Measuring impacts to the Reef (including cumulative impacts)
- Identifying emerging risks to the Reef
- Defining objectives (including targets)
- Setting triggers for management intervention
- Developing policy and management strategies and assessing performance
- Providing expert advice
- Making decisions (for example permits and environmental impact assessments)
- Adaptive management
- Raising awareness
- State of the environment reporting
- Developing community partnerships based on shared understanding
- Preparing the Outlook Report.
Sources of information
We receive scientific information about the Reef and its management from a range of sources including:
- Research institutions and government agencies
- Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS)
- James Cook University
- ARC Centre of Excellence for Integrated Coral Reef Studies
- The Cairns Institute
- The Centre for Marine Studies at the University of Queensland
- Queensland Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
- Reef-based industries
- Members of the community
- Traditional Owners.
A large proportion of management-relevant science was generated through the following federal environmental research programs:
- The Cooperative Research Centre for the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area (CRC Reef)
- Marine and Tropical Sciences Research Facility
- The National Environmental Research Program (NERP) Tropical Ecosystems Hub.
The National Environmental Science Programme is due to commence in January 2015. It will build on its predecessors — the National Environmental Research Program and the Australian Climate Change Science Programme — to support decision-makers to understand, manage and conserve Australia’s environment with the best available information, based on world-class science.
The Science for Management Awards
Our Science for Management Awards provided financial support to more than 200 postgraduate students over the past 30 years — it aimed to encourage postgraduate scientists who are addressing management-relevant research to engage with GBRMPA during their studies, and continue to consider the application of their work by management throughout their research careers. This program is now discontinued.
If you're heading out on the water, don't forget your free Zoning Map so you know where you can go and what you can do.
The Great Barrier Reef is a hive of activity. If you're lucky enough to see a humpback whale from May to September, make sure you keep a safe distance.
We're delighted to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park's World Heritage listing.
Visit our Great Barrier Reef and discover its amazing plants, animals and habitats. There are a range of tourism experiences on offer.
Everyone has a role to play in protecting our Great Barrier Reef. Find out what you can do to help protect this Great Australian icon.
If you see sick, dead or stranded marine animals please call RSPCA QLD 1300 ANIMAL
(1300 264 625)
A Vulnerability Assessment: of the issues that could have far-reaching consequences for the Great Barrier Reef.