Developing a results-based monitoring and evaluation program for southeast Queensland’s waterways (12910)
The Ecosystem Health Monitoring Program (EHMP) is a scientifically robust waterway monitoring program that has assessed the condition of southeast Queensland’s creeks, rivers, estuaries and Moreton Bay for over a decade. The program delivers annual Report Cards which provide comparative grades on the ecological condition or “health” of the waterways, providing both a political and public opportunity to focus on waterway condition and management actions required.
The Healthy Waterways Report Card has been very successful in raising community and political awareness of waterway issues. However, members have requested a more holistic monitoring and evaluation program: one that fulfils all parts of the pressure–state–response framework and provides stronger links between monitoring results and management actions.
Healthy Waterways has been working with its member organisations to develop a new monitoring, evaluation and reporting framework that will support our members’ investment in waterway health by improving the linkages between the anthropogenic “pressures” exerted on waterways, the condition or “state” of the waterways and management “responses” that are or could be undertaken to reduce the pressure and improve the state. This process has involved using program logic and risk assessment techniques to identify the dominant pressures (threats) on the waterways and the priority management actions (responses) required to reduce these pressures and improve the state of the waterways. Both short-term targets and long-term goals are being identified for the various management responses and will be incorporated into our annual reporting tool, to inform partners and demonstrate progress towards Healthy Waterways.
The revisions to the program are also incorporating social indicators to assess stewardship and social benefits provided by waterways as well as economic indicators that will focus on both the value of the natural asset that is being managed and funding allocated to priority management actions.