Accredited educational and research institutions
The mechanism for accrediting research and/or educational institutions will be through publication of a notice in the Gazette once the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) is satisfied that the requirements defined in the regulations have been met.
The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Zoning Plan 2003 (the Zoning Plan) provides for ‘as-of-right’ research to be conducted in the Marine Park without the written permission of the GBRMPA providing certain conditions are satisfied. One such condition is that the research being undertaken is a component of a research project conducted by an accredited educational or research institution.
In accordance with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Regulations 1983, the Authority may accredit an educational or research institution, by notification in the Gazette, if it is satisfied that the institution;
(a) has adopted appropriate environmental practices and standards (including instruction and training of personnel); and
(b) has an ongoing commitment to improve those practices and standards.
Generally, throughout the Marine Park, researchers from accredited educational or research institutions will be allowed to conduct:
- social research that does not involve the conduct of maritime archaeology excavations
- limited impact research (extractive) and limited impact research (non-extractive) in the General Use, Habitat Protection, Conservation Park and Scientific Research Zones
- limited impact research (non-extractive) in the Buffer and Marine National Park Zones.
Note: It is expected that an ongoing commitment to improve practice standards be demonstrated by regular review of these practices and a commitment to improving these practices inline with any new information about best environmental practice.
In addition, an accredited educational or research institution must demonstrate a commitment to training researchers working in the Marine Park with regards to the content of the MOU and provision of update practices to these researchers.
Once an institution is accredited, all employees and affiliated staff conducting research under the auspices of the educational or research institution are allowed to conduct limited impact research¹ without a permit subject to compliance with the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), the Code of Conduct (developed by each institution), the Zoning Plan, associated regulations, and all other legislation having application to research activities in the Marine Park.
The institution shall issue each researcher or other personnel undertaking research by or on its behalf in the Marine Park, with a letter of authorisation on the letterhead of the Institution². Prior to issuing such letter of authorisation, the institution must be satisfied that the researcher or other personnel is aware of the requirements of this MOU, the Zoning Plan, associated regulations, and other relevant legislation.
1 The nature and extent of this research needs to comply with the requirements of the limited impact research (extractive) and limited impact research (non-extractive).
2 The letter of authorisation serves as an indication to compliance officers that researchers and/or other personnel are undertaking research under the auspices of an accredited educational or research institution for the purposes of the Zoning Plan. If a letter of authorisation cannot be produced when required, the researcher or other personnel is liable to be prosecuted for contravention of the Zoning Plan.
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