Why we monitor and report on reserve management performance
Monitoring, evaluation and reporting on management effectiveness for Tasmania's national parks and reserves is necessary in order to:
- provide public transparency and accountability for the investment of funds in management of Tasmania's national parks and reserves; and
- provide factual feedback about performance to guide informed decision-making to improve (and/or optimise) the achievement of objectives.
Our adaptive management approach
The Parks and Wildlife Service's adaptive management cycle provides an integrated, evidence-based approach to achieving objectives and delivering long-term desired outcomes. For a brief article describing our evaluation and adaptive management approach, see: Is the management plan achieving its objectives?
The Monitoring and Reporting System for Tasmania’s National Parks and Reserves
The Parks and Wildlife Service has developed a state-wide (jurisdictional) management effectiveness Monitoring and Reporting System to measure and report on evidence of management progress, achievements and challenges across Tasmania's public national parks and reserves estate. Key features of the system are that it is:
- outcomes focused
- operationally practical and scalable, and
- transparent to all interested parties.
Staff and stakeholders have identified (through workshops) that in order to be able to understand how management of Tasmania's national parks and reserves is performing, they need reliable, factual information about a variety of topics. These topics (called 'key performance areas') form the Framework of the Monitoring and Reporting System. The report outlining the system (PWS, 2013) is available at the following link: Monitoring and Reporting System for Tasmania's national parks & reserves. For a brief overview about the Monitoring and Reporting System, click on the following Powerpoint presentation.
Building and implementing the Monitoring and Reporting System is ongoing and progressing as resources permit.
Evaluated case studies
An important component of the Monitoring and Reporting System for Tasmania's national parks and reserves is evaluated case studies of significant and selected projects. Examples of evaluated case study reports to date include:
Evaluating management effectiveness for the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area
The first comprehensive evaluation report on management effectiveness for the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area (TWWHA) was published under the title State of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area - an evaluation of management effectiveness, Report No 1 2004. This report presents detailed information and evidence about management effectiveness against the statements of 'key desired outcomes' in the statutory management plan for the Area. This evaluation report has established a sound reference platform of reliable information against which ongoing performance can be compared. The State of the TWWHA Report No 1 (2004) was awarded the 2005 Australasian Evaluation Society's Caulley Tulloch Award for best publication in evaluation. The second State of the TWWHA report is currently in preparation in 2017 - see Working Draft - State of the TWWHA Report No.2.
Integrating evaluation into reserve management plans
The management agency is progressively integrating statements of key desired outcomes and provisions for monitoring, evaluation and reporting into new reserve management plans to establish a sound basis for understanding and tracking management performance. Early development of these approaches is evident in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area Management Plan 1999 which was awarded the Australian National Award for Planning Excellence 2003. The new TWWHA management plan was approved in December 2016 and is available on the DPIPWE website - Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area Management plan 2016.
Where possible, the management agency is aiming to identify what would be a 'great result', a 'satisfactory or acceptable result' and an 'unsatisfactory or unacceptable result' for each identified key desired outcome in a reserve management plan or major project. This establishes an explicit, agreed framework for assessing how management is performing. For example, see Chapter 7, page 53 and Appendix 1 of the Coningham Nature Recreation Area Management Statement 2009.
- DPIPWE (2014) Draft Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area (TWWHA) Management Plan 2014. Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment. Hobart Tasmania.
- Jones, G. (2015) What’s working, what’s not: The Monitoring and Reporting System for Tasmania’s National Parks and Reserves. pp. 77-90 In Watson, Alan, Carver, Stephen, Krenová, Zdenka, McBride, Brooke, comps. 2015. Science and stewardship to protect and sustain wilderness values: Tenth World Wilderness Congress symposium, 4-10 October 2013, Salamanca, Spain. Proceedings RMRS-P-74. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. Available online at http://www.fs.fed.us/rm/pubs/rmrs_p074.pdf.
- Jones, G. (2009) The adaptive management system for the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area — linking management planning with effectiveness evaluation. Chapter 13 In Allan, C. and Stankey, G. (eds), Adaptive Environmental Management. A Practitioner’s Guide. Co-published by Springer and CSIRO Publishing, 351pp. Dordrecht The Netherlands and Collingwood Australia. www.springerlink.com. Chapter 13 available on PWS website at http://www.parks.tas.gov.au/file.aspx?id=15135.
- Jones, G. (2005) Is the management plan achieving its objectives? Case study 21.1 pp 555-557 In Worboys, G, De Lacy, T. and Lockwood, M. (eds), Protected Area Management. Principles and Practices. Second Edition. Oxford University Press. Case study available on PWS website at http://www.parks.tas.gov.au/index.aspx?base=7679.
- Parks and Wildlife Service (2013) Evaluating Management Effectiveness: The Monitoring and Reporting System for Tasmania’s National Parks and Reserves. Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment. Hobart Tasmania. Available on PWS website at http://www.parks.tas.gov.au/file.aspx?id=31865. Permanent URL: http://stors.tas.gov.au/1234092.
Parks and Wildlife Service (2004) State of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area – an evaluation of management effectiveness. Report No 1, 2004. Department of Tourism Parks Heritage and the Arts. Hobart Tasmania. Available on PWS website at http://www.parks.tas.gov.au/index.aspx?base=5957. Permanent URL: http://stors.tas.gov.au/1346583.