An increasing number of scientists and resource managers recognise that successful marine management approaches, including marine spatial planning (MSP), cannot occur without effective monitoring, evaluation and adaptation. These basic components are necessary to ensure that any marine planning or marine management measures are both effective and efficient. While a number of fundamental principles for marine monitoring, evaluation and adaptive management exist, there are varying levels of understanding about how these should be undertaken and what they may achieve. Challenges include the development of realistic and measurable objectives and indicators against which effectiveness can be practically measured. The matter becomes even more complicated as the focus of marine planning and management strategies changes from ‘single species’ to ‘habitats’ and ‘ecosystems’ that may enable a diversity of permitted uses consistent with a variety of overall objectives. Over the last 30 years, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (GBRMP) has successfully established a multiple-use spatial management approach that allows both high levels of environmental protection and a wide range of human activities. Drawing on this unique long-term experience in the GBRMP, this article discusses key aspects of effective monitoring and evaluation, and summarises lessons learned from over two decades of adaptive management.
Marine Policy – Elsevier
Published: Sep 1, 2008
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