In 2018, the Australian Government added 44 new marine parks to Australia’s national representative system of marine protected areas, bringing the total to 58 parks across five park management networks (the North, North-west, South-west, South-east and Temperate East Networks) in addition to the Coral Sea Marine Park. These parks, covering 2.8 million square kilometres, contain many different marine ecosystems ranging from sub-Antarctic environments to tropical coral reefs, with significant and rare biodiversity.

Parks Australia engaged Alluvium to develop, with staff from Parks Australia, a Monitoring, Evaluation, Reporting and Improvement system that establishes a nationally consistent process to:

  1. assess achievement against objectives in each park network management plan
  2. enable continuous improvement in management, and
  3. provide public accountability.

The system consists of two key components: 1) a National Framework that outlines the overall approach to monitoring, evaluation, reporting and improvement for park management, and 2) Management Evaluation Plans that provide greater detail about the delivery of monitoring and evaluation ‘on the ground’ in each marine park network. The evaluation plans include conceptual models of the natural, cultural and heritage values and social and economic benefits in the marine park networks and anticipated changes in these values and benefits due to implementation of the management plans.

The framework and plans will help facilitate a regular flow of information to inform management decisions and periodic management reviews, and help the Director of National Parks meet regular reporting requirements and communicate effectively with the public about marine park management performance.