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 for the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area (GBRWHA). In undertaking this project, the team developed and tested practical guidance that would help partners involved in a strategic assessment under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) to establish a framework for integrated monitoring. The Integrated Monitoring Framework (IMF) guidance identifies the steps and provides clear direction to develop efficient and effective monitoring and reporting on the condition of Matters of National Environmental Significance (MNES), and support adaptive management of these assets. The guidance was applied to the GBRWHA with the intention that the approach could be used to inform the potential development of other integrated monitoring programs in other coastal and marine regions of Australia.
Through this project and for the first time, the monitoring needs for management, legacy of past monitoring programs and the capacity of existing monitoring programs have been brought together in a multidisciplinary, multi-institutional effort to provide a blueprint for an integrated approach to monitoring the GBRWHA. The framework explicitly links management objectives, monitoring objectives and monitoring programs in a driver, pressure, state, impact and response framework to provide a solid foundation for an IMP for the GBRWHA.