The Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) developed the Values-Based Management Framework (VBMF), an adaptive management process, to manage the state’s diverse protected area estate.
It provides structure for strategic planning, and incorporates key steps for monitoring progress, evaluating performance, and reporting on the effectiveness of management actions over time. Based on international best-practice standards, the VBMF ensures accountability and transparency for the QPWS’s management of protected areas.
The draft Great Sandy Area Management Plan has been prepared under this framework and is currently undergoing targeted consultation. This first round of consultation includes the Butchulla Aboriginal Corporation, Kabi Kabi First Nation and the World Heritage Advisory Committees. Once this first round of consultation is complete, all key stakeholders with an interest in K’gari will be invited to comment via letter. This will also include an offer to meet with the planners for further information if preferred.
This stage of the consultation will coincide with the draft plan going on full public display.
The values assessment process identified nine key values, within seven value categories, for the Great Sandy Area. For each key value, the plan provides a value statement, an assessment of the key values’ current condition and trend, an assessment of identified threats, the desired outcome statement, and strategic management directions. The UNESCO World Heritage Convention criteria for the Fraser Island World Heritage Area align with the key values and are identified in the draft plan.
Routine ‘health checks’ are undertaken to see if the key values are okay. They will help us to know the current condition of key values and, over time, whether their condition is stable, improving or getting worse. Such information is critical to making good management decisions. More detailed monitoring can be undertaken where specialist information is needed to confirm the condition of values, and to evaluate values whose condition cannot be determined through ‘health checks’ (this process uses simple, visual assessment cues and requires no highly specialist skills or equipment).
Article submitted by Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, Coastal and Islands Region, Great Sandy Area.