About the theme


This project contributes to the social characterisation research of the Kimberley coastline and marine environment. It goes beyond a focus on people as the cause of impacts to help understand peoples’ needs and values.

A major focus throughout this project was engaging with Aboriginal Traditional Owners, Kimberley residents and visitors as key stakeholder groups. Three phases of research were undertaken over the project’s three-and-a-half year lifespan. Each phase was underpinned by the intent of making social data spatially explicit so that it could be readily integrated with existing planning and management approaches.


  • To describe and analyse the social values of people associated with the coastal waters of the western Kimberley, especially Indigenous community members.
  • To map these values so they can be included in decision making for the region.
  • To identify and analyse people’s aspirations regarding possible futures for the Kimberley coastline.


  • Approximately 160 face‐to‐face interviews with people in the Kimberley and Perth in 2013 were conducted, to explore peoples’ associations with these coastal waters, values, motivations, perceptions and management preferences. Interviews were sought with local residents (Indigenous and nonindigenous), tourists, the tourism industry, commercial and recreational fishing interests, protected area managers and other government agencies, aquaculture, pearling, mining, port facilities, oil and gas, and non‐government environmental organisations.
  • Workshops in the Kimberley and Perth were held to map people’s social values and to gain an understanding of people’s aspirations regarding possible futures for this coastline using public participation geographic information system (PP GIS) techniques.
  • A web‐based survey was conducted to explore and document people’s preferences for future management of the western Kimberley coastline.
  • Collaboration/partnerships with Indigenous communities in the Kimberley were explored to see if the new PP GIS techniques would be useful and if so, assist in providing training.


  • Social information for policy development, planning and management
  • Techniques for accessing and providing this social information, including potentially building capacity among Indigenous rangers in using PP GIS.
  • A methodology to conduct choice experiments using an online Public Participation GIS technique

Project News:

Survey indicates strong support for Kimberley coast protection

What is the Kimberley worth?

What do you value about the Kimberley coast?

Valuing the Kimberley: social science informs planning for marine parks


Brown G, Strickland-Munro J, Kobryn H, Moore SA (2017). Mixed methods participatory GIS: An evaluation of the validity of qualitative and quantitative mapping methods. Applied Geography 79, 153-166.doi: 10.1016/j.apgeog.2016.12.015

Brown G, Strickland-Munro J, Kobryn H, Moore S (Dec 2015) Stakeholder analysis for marine conservation planning using public participation GIS Applied Geography DOI:10.1016/j.apgeog.2015.12.004

Kobryn, H T, Brown, G, Munro, J, and Moore, SA (2017). Cultural ecosystem values of the Kimberley coastline: An empirical analysis with implications for coastal and marine policy. Ocean & Coastal Management.

Munro J, Pearce J, Brown G, Kobryn H, Moore S.A. (2017) Identifying ‘public values’ for marine and coastal planning: Are residents and non-residents really so different? Ocean & Coastal Management 148, 9-21

Munro J, Kobryn H, Palmer D, Bayley S, and Moore S. A. (2017). Charting the coast: spatial planning for tourism using public participation GIS. Current Issues in Tourism

Moore, S.A., G. Brown, H. Kobryn and J. Strickland-Munro. 2017. Identifying conflict potential in a coastal and marine environment using participatory mapping. Journal of Environmental Management 197: 706-718. doi:

Pearce J, Strickland-Munro J, Moore S (June 2016) What fosters awe-inspiring experiences in nature-based tourism destinations?, Journal of Sustainable Tourism, DOI: 10.1080/09669582.2016.1213270

Strickland-Munro J, Kobryn H, Brown G, Moore S (2016) Valuing The Wild, Remote And Beautiful: Using Public Participation Gis To Inform Tourism Planning In The Kimberley, Western Australia International Journal of Sustainable Development and Planning DOI: 10.2495/SDP-V11-N3-355-364

Strickland-Munro J, Kobryn H, Brown G, Moore S (July 2016) Marine spatial planning for the future: Using Public Participation GIS (PPGIS) to inform the human dimension for large marine parks Marine Policy DOI: 10.1016/j.marpol.2016.07.011




Valuing environmental management of the Kimberley coast: using PPGIS and choice experiments

Social Values for the Kimberley Coast (2017 WAMSI Research Conference)

Spatially explicit delineation of the social values of the Kimberley coastal and marine environment (2015 WAMSI Research Conference)


Program: Kimberley Marine Research

Location: West Kimberley coast from Eighty Mile Beach to Cape Londonderry, Perth

Theme Leader: Sue Moore, Murdoch University

Project Contact:

Halina Kobryn, Murdoch University



Final Report

Research Findings

Research Findings

Technical Report 1

Technical Report 2

Technical Report 3

Technical Report 4