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Social-Ecological Systems Meta-Analysis Database: Component

SummaryThe 1975 Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (GBRMP) Act established the marine park and the park’s authority (Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, GBRMPA). The Act prohibited mining on the reef, enabled the planning and implementation of zones to differentiate uses of the park, such as fishing and tourism, and authorised GBRMPA to design a system of other permissions to regulate, enforce, sanction, and monitor access and use of the park including harvesting, shipping, and research (http://www.gbrmpa.gov.au/about-us/legislation-regulations-and-policies/legislation). A formal co-management agreement was signed between Federal and State government in Australia (1979), which effectively enabled the joint management of the GBRMP by GBRMPA (a federal agency) and the Queensland state (Queensland Parks and Wildlife and Queensland Fisheries). From 1999 a systematic conservation planning approach called the Representative Areas Programme was undertaken to identify and implement a larger system of no-take zones that represented the diversity of bioregions and habitats encompassed in the GBRMP. It was implemented in 2004, and the proportion of no-take areas changed from about 5% to 33%.
SubtypeFormal Governance System
SectorMarine protected areas
Begin Date1975
ExplanationThe 1975 Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (GBRMP) Act established the marine park and the park’s authority (Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, GBRMPA).
End Date1999
ExplanationThis snapshot of the GBR encompasses the beginning of the park until a re-zoning effort was started in 1999.
Governance ScaleState-based policy
ExplanationSub-regional scale. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park is in the state of Queensland, thus a sub-national scale.
Governance System Description 
Governance Triggerslow continuous change
ExplanationOngoing concerns about biodiversity declines motivated the creation of the marine park. The potential of oil and gas exploration around the reef also motivated the development of the park.
Type Of Formal GovernanceManagement plan
ExplanationThe Act is implemented through a management plan.
Mpa Internal Natural BoundariesLow (1)
ExplanationThe Coastal MPA and GBRMPA are adjacent to land they are not protected by deep water or sand.
Mpa Migratory Life Historyt
ExplanationBreeding and foraging grounds for turtles, dugong, shark
Mpa Threats To Migratory Sp["Bycatch", "Habitat destruction", "Other"]
ExplanationIndigenous fishers can catch turtles for subsistence purposes. Commercial fishers target some species of shark. Shark are also killed in nets, on hooks or culled to reduce the threat they pose to humans swimming off beaches.
Governance Knowledge Use["Scientific knowledge"]
Pa Car PrinciplesYes (3)
CentralizationHighly centralized (4)
ExplanationThis is a government act, highly centralized.
Distance To MarketsLess than 10km (1)
ExplanationNational and international markets are distributed through the GBR region though certain markets (e.g., Bowen) are preferred.
Mpa Budget $US
Mpa ConnectivityPartially (2)
ExplanationThe initial zoning plan did not deliberately consider connectivity in its design or coverage of areas, but did have a range of no-take areas distributed through the broader MPA.
Mpa Migratory Threats And Redux 
Mpa Motivation["Ecological value"]
Mpa Primary Goal (In Practice)["Biodiversity conservation"]
Mpa Protection["Reducing threats"]
Metric Diversity 
Pa Iucn Strict Zones4 %
Social Ecological FitLow (1)
ExplanationThe GBRMP and Authority were specifically designed to protect the reef. There was good institutional fit even in the initial phases of zoning although this did also improve considerable following re-zoning in 2004.
Mpa Migratory BenefitYes