Environmental Research Ethics Advisory Committee
In response to community concern regarding the types of research conducted in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and World Heritage Area, a Research Ethics Advisory Committee was established to advise the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority on research permit applications.
The committee guides the Authority in regard to the appropriateness of the conduct of manipulative research proposals in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and World Heritage Area.
Criteria for referral
Does your research involve any of the following (if yes you need to answer yes to part 8 of the application form)?
- Endangered, vulnerable or threatened species or populations?
- Introduction into the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park of biological material of a type not already present in the area?
- Relocation or release within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park of biological material in or to areas in which it is not normally found?
- Introduction or release of genetically modified material?
- Habitats of particular importance to the biology of endangered, vulnerable, threatened or commercially important species?
- Destruction and/or intrusion at a significant scale in space and/or time and relative to the size of populations and habitats affected, and ecological and geophysical processes applying in the area of the following nature:
- deliberate damage?
- taking of plants and animals?
- behaviour manipulation or use of intrusive techniques?
- Use of toxic/radioactive/cumulative/persistent chemicals?
- Use of a Preservation Zone?
- A significant impact on use(s) and value of area concerned and would require new or changed zoning provisions and regulations?
- Controversial or sensitive issues (culturally/socially), or seen to be cruel, or to involve the infringement of privacy and property rights?
Reasonable use guidelinesTo guide the committee's deliberations in preparing advice as to what research is reasonable use, the following questions are posed.
- What does the research seek to establish?
- How does this research fit with existing research/context?
- What are the expected impacts of the research (on species, habitat, other species) and use and values of other direct and indirect users?
- What is the extent of the effects of the manipulation/intrusion?
- Does the experimental design address the objectives of minimal disturbance?
- Are there any prudent and feasible alternatives?
- What are the expected benefits that may arise from the successful conduct of the research?
- Do the benefits of the research warrant the extent of likely impacts?
- Are there community issues that should be addressed?
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A Vulnerability Assessment: of the issues that could have far-reaching consequences for the Great Barrier Reef.