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​The objective of monitoring and evaluation is to determine if the management plan and annual work plans effectively contribute to achieving the plan’s objectives and desired conditions for the protected area. Monitoring and evaluation tasks should focus on rare resources, on activities authorized by the protected area administration, or on basic information needs for the protected area  administration.  With plan implementation under way, monitoring will provide the feedback loop for evaluating the plan.

Evaluation will identify whether the plan is being implemented effectively, that is, whether the existing guidelines are effective and, ultimately, whether the overall objectives are being met. Monitoring will also allow observation of the impacts of management and evaluation will suggest changes to management actions accordingly.  Where implementation runs into problems, monitoring and evaluation can be used to signal needs for re-deploying management resources to improve plan implementation.

Plan monitoring and evaluation should determine if key aspects of the plan are working as intended or if changes need to be made to the plan. Evaluation should help determine if existing guidelines are effective at ensuring the sustainability of activities and resources.  Not everything can be monitored.  The plan should indicate the kind and frequency of monitoring that will occur regarding priority issues.  Based on priorities, key measures of success will need to be identified for which monitoring data can be collected, initially to establish base conditions and subsequently to establish changes.

Specific monitoring activities will depend on the objectives that have been identified for the protected area, and may include, but are not limited to:

Species of concern (sharks, rays, whales)
Coral reefs
Plant communities
Benefits attained by local communities
Human disturbances
Extent of hunting and fishing
Infrastructure impacts
Instream flows
External threats to the PA

 

As with plan implementation, subject monitoring actions to a prioritization process, as limited resources will prohibit monitoring as much as would be ideal.  Focus efforts on monitoring aspects of the plan relating to the most pressing threats to, and needs of, the protected area to assess whether or not the plan has been effective at reducing the impacts of those threats.

Examples of monitoring questions and measures:

  • Are specific management activities being implemented as described in the plan and the annual work plan?  Possible measure: percent and types of activities that are actually implemented.
  • Are specific species populations responding to management actions as anticipated in the plan?  Possible measures: population size and trend.
  • Is the plan providing for local community benefits as may be realized by association or from participation in protected area management?  Possible measure: proportion of community revenue generated by protected area management.
  • Are ecological systems being restored as provided by management actions?  Possible measure: proportion of protected area with desired ecosystem conditions.
  • Have management actions changed the quantity, quality, and spatial distribution of marine and other habitats, to help meet plan objectives?  Possible measure: proportion and types of habitats suitable for desired species.

Assessing Protected Area Management Effectiveness

The Nature Conservancy. Assessing Protected Area Management Effectiveness. Convention on Biological Diversity and World Wildlife Fund for Nature Conservation. 2008

Automatic Identification System (AIS) and the Monitoring of Marine Protected Areas and Exclusive Economic Zones

Automatic Identification System (AIS) and the Monitoring of Marine Protected Areas and Exclusive Economic Zones

Change in Terrestrial Human Footprint Drives Continued Loss of Intact Ecosystems

Human pressure mapping is important for understanding humanity’s role in shaping Earth’s patterns and processes. We provide the latest maps of the terrestrial human footprint and provide an assessment of change in human pressure across Earth.

Characteristics of effective marine protected areas in Hawaiʻi

Ancient Hawaiians developed sophisticated natural resource management systems that included various forms of spatial management.

Community Biological Monitoring Training Video

Community Biological Monitoring Training Video. University of the South Pacific (USP) and the Fiji Locally Managed Marine Area Network (FLMMA). 2006. Suva, Fiji.

Convention on Biological Diversity – Protected Areas Management Effectiveness

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Cook Islands Global Reef Expedition - Final Report

In April 2011, the Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation (KSLOF) embarked on the Global Reef Expedition (GRE)- the largest coral reef survey and mapping expedition in history. The GRE was a rigorous five-year scientific mission to study coral reefs around the world.

Coral Health and Disease in the Pacific: Vision for Action

Galloway, S.B., Bruckner, A.W. and Woodley, C.M. (eds.).  Coral Health and Disease in the Pacific: Vision for Action. 2009. NOAA Technical Memorandum NOS NCCOS 97 and CRCP 7. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Silver Spring.

Delimiting Surveys for Invasive Ants

Pacific Invasives Network. Delimiting Surveys for Invasive Ants. 2013. Auckland, New Zealand.

Existing environmental management approaches relevant to deep-sea mining

Deep-sea mining (DSM) may become a significant stressor on the marine environment.

Global Fishing Watch

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Global Reef Expedition Final Report - the Republic of Palau

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How is Your MPA Doing? A Guidebook of Natural and Social Indicators for Evaluating Marine Protected Area Management Effectiveness

Pomeroy, R.S., Parks, J.E., Watson, L. M. 2004. How is Your MPA Doing? A Guidebook of Natural and Social Indicators for Evaluating Marine Protected Area Management Effectiveness. IUCN Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK

How is Your MPA Doing? A Guidebook of Natural and Social Indicators for Evaluating Marine Protected Area Management Effectiveness

Pomeroy, R.S., Parks, J.E., Watson, L. M. 2004. How is Your MPA Doing? A Guidebook of Natural and Social Indicators for Evaluating Marine Protected Area Management Effectiveness.  IUCN Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK

Instruction Manual A Guide to Reef Check Monitoring

Hodgson, G., Hill, J., Kiene, W., Maun, L., Mihaly, J., Liebeler, J., Shuman, C. and Torres, R. 2006. Instruction Manual A Guide to Reef Check Monitoring.  Reef Check Foundation, Pacific Palisades, California, USA

Manual for Mangrove Monitoring in the Pacific Islands Region

Ellison, J.C., Jungblut, V., Anderson, P., Slaven, C. 2012.  Manual for Mangrove Monitoring in the Pacific Islands Region. SRPEP, Apia, Samoa.

MAQTRAC Marine Aquarium Trade Coral Reef Monitoring Protocol Field Manual

Hodgson, G and Ochavillo, D. 2006.  MAQTRAC Marine Aquarium Trade Coral Reef Monitoring Protocol Field Manual. Reef Check Foundation. Pacific Palisades, California USA.

Monitoring Coral Reef Marine Protected Areas: Version 1. A Practical Guide on how Monitoring can Support Effective Management of MPAs

Wilkinson, C. Green, A,  Almany, J. and Dionne, S. 2003. Monitoring Coral Reef Marine Protected Areas:  Version 1. A Practical Guide on how Monitoring can Support Effective Management of MPAs.

Monitoring Coral Reefs from Space

Coral reefs are one of the world’s most biologically diverse and productive ecosystems. However, these valuable resources are highly threatened by human activities.

Monitoring for Management of Protected Areas- An Overview

Rao, M., Stokes, e. and Johnson, a. 2009.  Monitoring for Management of Protected Areas- An Overview. Training Module 6 for the Network of Conservation Educators and Practitioners.

Monitoring Wildlife Populations for Management

Stokes, E., A. Johnson and M. Rao. 2010. Monitoring Wildlife Populations for Management. Training Module 7 for the Network of Conservation Educators and Practitioners.

Rapid Assessment and Prioritization of Protected Area Management (RAPPAM) Methodology

Ervin, J. 2003. Rapid Assessment and Prioritization of Protected Area Management (RAPPAM) Methodology. WWF, Gland, Switzerland.

Review and Recommendations Regarding Human Activity Surveillance Technologies in Pacific Marine Protected Areas

The present study, commissioned by the French Agency for Biodiversity (Agence française pour la biodiversité, AFB), is part of the "Pacific Biodiversity Blue Belt" project.

Socioeconomic Fisheries Surveys in Pacific Islands: a Manual for the Collection of a Minimum Dataset

Kronen, M., Stacey, N., Holland, P., Magron, F., Power, M. 2007. Socioeconomic Fisheries Surveys in Pacific Islands: a Manual for the Collection of a Minimum  Dataset. SPC, Noumea, New Caledonia.  

Socioeconomic Manual for Coral Reef Management

Bunce, L. Townsley, P., Pomeroy, R., Pollnac, R. 2000. Socioeconomic Manual for Coral Reef Management. GCRMN, AIMS, Townsville, Australia.

Thirty Years of Research on Crown-of-Thorns Starfish (1986–2016): Scientific Advances and Emerging Opportunities

Research on the coral-eating crown-of-thorns starfish (CoTS) has waxed and waned over the last few decades, mostly in response to population outbreaks at specific locations.

Towards the Quantification of Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing in the Pacific Islands Region

Illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing is a recognised global problem which undermines the integrity of responsible fisheries management arrangements and results in lost value to coastal states.

Underwater Cards for Assessing Coral Health on Indo-Pacific Reefs

Beeden, R., Willis, B., Raymundo, L.J., Page, C.A., Weil, E.

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