Applying the principles of adaptive management to the application, selection and monitoring of environmental projects

TitleApplying the principles of adaptive management to the application, selection and monitoring of environmental projects
Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsMazur N, Bodsworth A, Curtis A, Lefroy T
Document NumberLaP2013/3010 - 8
Date Published12/2013
InstitutionUniversity of Tasmania
Report NumberLaP2013/3010 - 8
ISBN Number978-1-86295-727-5
AbstractThe Biodiversity Fund and Caring for our Country (Monitoring) Project arose from a request by the Department of the Environment that the five NERP hubs assist in the design of monitoring programs for already funded projects. In response, the Landscapes and Policy Hub suggested that an additional approach to improving the ability to measure outcomes from funded projects would be to redesign the project-level application process as a series of steps based on the adaptive management cycle. The aim of the project was to help achieve better NRM policy, program and project outcomes by developing principles and criteria consistent with Adaptive Management to assist departmental staff revise guidelines for proponents and the assessment of applications under future environmental funding programs. Key Research Outcomes Following a review of project application and assessment processes used in the Biodiversity Fund and Caring for Our Country programs and a selection of funded projects, the following recommendations were made: 1. That publicly funded environmental programs adopt a modified adaptive management cycle (see figure) to guide proponents through a logical sequence of questions to link their goals to intermediate and ultimate outcomes. 2. That large projects are required to develop a monitoring program capable of measuring change in their project goal by submitting a monitoring design during the course of their project that specifies: a. the degree of impact they expect to see in their goal (the effect size), b. the natural variability in their goal or the means by which they will estimate that variability during the course of the project , and c. The sample size or number of replicate sites to be monitored to measure change in the project goal, based on a) and b) above. 3. That partnerships be encouraged between project proponents and research groups, consultants or others skilled in monitoring design, and financially supported for a sub-set of large projects, to build capacity in monitoring design and implementation amongst environmental managers in Australia.
Refereed DesignationNon-Refereed
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