Integrated monitoring framework for the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area

About this report

The Department of the Environment commissioned the Marine Biodiversity National Environmental Research Program (NERP) Hub to establish a framework for a standardised and integrated ecological, social and economic monitoring program. The project brought together expertise from the Marine Biodiversity Hub, Topical Ecosystems Hub, Environmental Decisions Hub, GBRMPA and the Department of the Environment to discuss: critical information needs in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area (GBRWHA); build upon and link existing monitoring programs in the GBRWHA; provide a baseline for monitoring and consider how best to prioritise and target monitoring activities.

In order to protect the GBR it is critical that management systems are established that can detect the effect of pressures on assets and refine and adapt responses to ensure these assets and their value are maintained and enhanced. The report stresses the importance of the need for an integrated approach to monitoring that enables cumulative pressures to be identified and managed that can also support adaptive management.

The report contains guidelines to assist the development an integrated monitoring framework and the results of applying this guidance to the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. The guidelines developed during this project may be able to be applied to other regions of the country to inform the development of other integrated monitoring approaches supporting strategic assessments. This report forms one part of the Department's program of work funded under the Sustainable Regional Development Program to support the Strategic Assessment of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.