Are outcomes matching policy commitments in Australian marine conservation planning?

Barr, Lissa M. and Possingham, Hugh P. (2013) Are outcomes matching policy commitments in Australian marine conservation planning?. Marine Policy, 42 39-48. doi:10.1016/j.marpol.2013.01.012


Author Barr, Lissa M.
Possingham, Hugh P.
Title Are outcomes matching policy commitments in Australian marine conservation planning?
Journal name Marine Policy   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0308-597X
1872-9460
Publication date 2013-11-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.marpol.2013.01.012
Volume 42
Start page 39
End page 48
Total pages 10
Place of publication Kidlington, Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Pergamon
Language eng
Abstract Marine protected areas (MPAs) are believed to be an effective means of preserving marine biodiversity. Hence, MPAs have become the cornerstone of many national and international strategies for decelerating the loss of marine biodiversity. Australia has made strong international commitments to increase its coverage of MPAs through the principles of systematic conservation planning and, in the last 10 years, has rapidly expanded its MPA coverage using these principles. This paper assesses Australia's progress in achieving a key principle of systematic conservation planning-representation-which states that MPAs will include the full range of marine ecosystems. Australia's progress in achieving representation is measured nationally and within seven extensive commonwealth marine regions: the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (rezoned in 2004), the South East Marine Regional Plan (2007), and the South West, North West, North, Temperate East and Coral Sea proposed plans (2011). State marine waters (within 3 nautical miles of the coast) are not considered. Results illustrate that, if the proposed marine plans are followed verbatim, Australia will protect just over 36% of its marine jurisdiction in MPAs and over 13% in "no-take" marine reserves. However, except for MPAs in the Great Barrier Reef, and the proposal for the Coral Sea marine park, the existing and proposed MPAs are far from representative. Importantly, only a small portion of the highest protection occurs on the continental shelf where activities potentially harmful to marine biodiversity are concentrated. Despite having a strong and long-standing commitment to the principles of systematic conservation planning, Australia is not achieving the fundamental requirement of representation across most of its marine jurisdiction. We conclude that a failure to set quantitative targets is restricting the achievement of representative marine protection in Australia. Consequently, the 2004 rezoning of the Great Barrier Reef remains a model to emulate, not only in other countries, but in other parts of Australia's marine waters.
Keyword Marine protected area
Australia
Representation
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
 
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