Purpose, policy, and practice: intent and reality for on-ground management and outcomes of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park

Fraser, Kerrie A., Adams, Vanessa M., Pressey, Robert L. and Pandolfi, John M. (2017) Purpose, policy, and practice: intent and reality for on-ground management and outcomes of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. Marine Policy, 81 301-311. doi:10.1016/j.marpol.2017.03.039


Author Fraser, Kerrie A.
Adams, Vanessa M.
Pressey, Robert L.
Pandolfi, John M.
Title Purpose, policy, and practice: intent and reality for on-ground management and outcomes of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park
Journal name Marine Policy   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0308-597X
1872-9460
Publication date 2017-07-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.marpol.2017.03.039
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 81
Start page 301
End page 311
Total pages 11
Place of publication Kidlington, Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Pergamon Press
Language eng
Abstract Notwithstanding a complex array of international, national, and local policies designed to protect biodiversity and manage human activities, the condition of Australia's Great Barrier Reef has been deteriorating. This trend indicates that policy settings are inadequate or the right policies have been prescribed but not effectively implemented. This study aimed to determine which policies influenced on-ground management of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area and Marine Park, how they were implemented, and the challenges encountered by practitioners in applying policies. The research required content analysis of policy instruments relevant to various jurisdictional levels, and surveys and interviews with 19 key informants across jurisdictions and agencies. This study found that policy intent is not automatically translated into practice: international agreements are interpreted and reinterpreted along the policy pathway to on-ground management and, consequently, the aspirations of these agreements can be frustrated and their effectiveness diluted. Due to limits of jurisdictional responsibility, practitioners within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority are constrained in influencing key factors that impact on their capacity to address threats and manage outcomes. The major policy gap affecting management outcomes was the absence of a mechanism with which to manage cumulative impacts responsible for deterioration of key ecosystem processes and biodiversity. These findings highlight that effective policy implementation is a challenging task, limited by gaps between intentions and outcomes, inconsistencies, and conflicting agendas. An improved understanding of the policy implementation process and the policy-practitioner relationship is essential to enhancing links between policy and on-ground management.
Keyword Cumulative impacts
Great Barrier Reef
International agreements
Marine environmental policy
Marine protected area
Policy implementation
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
School of Biological Sciences Publications
 
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