WAMSI's $30 million Kimberley Marine Research Program (KMRP) has delivered the science results that give researchers and managers access to a comprehensive set of new information to monitor and understand changes in the Kimberley’s unique marine environment.
The studies have produced important information that identifies biodiversity and tourism hotspots, unique habitats and species that are key to the health of the ecosystem.
Traditional Owners, marine park managers, and more than 200 scientists from 25 organisations have worked on the 23 projects throughout the Program.
KMRP Strategy KMRP Science Plan
Each project had a science plan approved by the main end-user – department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions – as well as the Minister for Science.
Dr Kelly Waples of WA’s Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions is the Science Coordinator of WAMSI’s $30 million Kimberley Marine Research Program.
“The objective of the KMRP is to provide a baseline of information for future marine park and reserve management and coastal planning in the region,” Dr Waples said. “To be successful, the research projects were designed to deliver the information that’s needed, and the results have been provided in a form that is useful and usable for managers.”
Project science reviews by an independent panel (including representatives from DBCA) helped to ensure research quality and progress was maintained, and the department’s Director of Biodiversity and Conservation Science had oversight of project scope and appropriateness of delivery.
A key element of the program was the integration of traditional knowledge with western science to enhance understanding and management of the region by joint managers.
Increasing end user involvement and understanding during the life of each project has not only improved individual projects, it has also increased the the overall success of the research program.
The $30 million Kimberley Marine Research Program is funded through major investment supported by $12 million from the Western Australian government's Kimberley Science and Conservation Strategy co-invested by the WAMSI partners and supported by the Traditional Owners of the Kimberley.