Kimberley Marine Research Program Science Coordinator, Dr Kelly Waples highlighted the success of the program in integrating science into conservation management decisions presented at the 22nd Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals in NovaScotia.
Dr Waples from the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions used the WAMSI Dugong project lead by CSIRO’s Dr Peter Bayliss as an example.
Dr Bayliss also shared results from the dugong project with:
– Parks and Wildlife and Indigenous rangers in Broome – the presentation is available at www.wamsi.org.au/dugong#Presentations
– Science on the Broome Coast hosted by the Roebuck Bay Working Group;
– Wunambal Gaambera Traditional Owners in Kalumburu; and
– Parks staff in Kununurra.
ABSTRACT: Integrating science into marine conservation management: a knowledge exchange framework that enhances the delivery of science into management action.
Kelly Waples, Peter Bayliss and Stuart Field
The integration of science into conservation management decisions remains a significant challenge in the marine environment. Coupled with a decline in funding, the emphasis on the delivery of relevant and applicable research has never been greater. The Western Australian Marine Science Institution (WAMSI), a joint venture partnership of state, federal, industry and academic institutions, is addressing this need through a collaborative approach to research program development and delivery. This has included development of an operational framework to enhance knowledge exchange and associated application of science outcomes into management decisions and actions. The framework recognises barriers that limit knowledge uptake and addresses these through a process that starts with the development of a science strategy outlining critical information gaps through to ensuring research findings are interpreted relative to management needs and are accessible in a format, including associated products and tools, which can be used by managers. This ensures the greatest impact of research findings through their incorporation into policy, guidelines and operational actions. The process relies on considerable end-user involvement through open and ongoing dialogue between scientists and managers, driven by an intermediary with an understanding of the needs of both parties.
The WAMSI Kimberley Marine Research Program is an example of the successful application of this process. Comprising 25 multi-disciplinary projects, the KMRP was designed to characterise the marine environment, ecological processes and human pressures to support the management of newly established marine parks across the Kimberley jointly managed with Traditional Owners. We will use the dugong distribution and abundance project as an example of the knowledge exchange process. This project addressed specific management questions, incorporated traditional knowledge and participation in fieldwork and has produced baseline data on species distribution and movement and a monitoring protocol that will be used in marine park planning and on ground management.
Waples K, Bayliss P, Field S. (2017) Integrating science into marine conservation management: a knowledge exchange framework that enhances the delivery of science into management action. 22nd Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals. (Abstract) (Presentation Slides)
Dr Kelly Waples presents at the Marine Mammals Conference in Nova Scotia
The $30 million Kimberley Marine Research Program is funded through major investment supported by $12 million from the Western Australian government co-invested by the WAMSI partners and supported by the Traditional Owners of the Kimberley.