Monitoring biodiversity outcomes of the Reef 2050 Plan
The Reef 2050 Integrated Monitoring and Reporting Program covers the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area and adjacent catchment monitoring programs.
This coordinated and integrated monitoring, modelling and reporting framework will help track the progress of the Reef 2050 Plan, under the plan’s seven themes: ecosystem health, biodiversity, heritage, water quality, community benefits, economic benefits, and governance.
Biodiversity is a measure of plants, animals and habitats and all natural variation — from genetic differences within one species to variations across a habitat or a whole ecosystem.
The Great Barrier Reef is one of the world’s most diverse and remarkable ecosystems, with a wide range of habitats and many thousands of different species.
Targets and actions
The Reef 2050 Plan includes targets and actions to protect and conserve biodiversity for the next 35 years. These will focus on:
- applying traditional knowledge — using Indigenous knowledge systems and the conservation and sustainable use of traditional biological resources
- conserving species of conservation concern
- monitoring and reporting – measuring the condition and trends in species and groups of species, including species of conservation concern
- specific projects, planning and programs.
The Reef 2050 Plan also includes targets for the year 2020, such as compatibility of traditional cultural practices with biodiversity conservation requirements, protection for species of conservation concern and improved trends for key indicator species and habitat condition. Existing monitoring programs were used to determine these targets.
Actions to maintain and restore ecosystem function, which is fundamental to biodiversity conservation, are captured under the ecosystem health theme.
Monitoring biodiversity health
The below diagram shows the natural values that link to biodiversity outcomes, objectives and targets from the Reef 2050 Plan, and what attributes of these natural values need to be monitored to evaluate progress towards these targets. The spreadsheet in Excel shows what monitoring is currently undertaken for this theme.