Regulation of pesticides in Australia: the Great Barrier Reef as a case study for evaluating effectiveness

King, Juliette, Alexander, Frances, and Brodie, Jon (2013) Regulation of pesticides in Australia: the Great Barrier Reef as a case study for evaluating effectiveness. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 180. pp. 54-67.

[img] PDF (Published Version) - Published Version
Restricted to Repository staff only

View at Publisher Website: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2012.07...
 
20
4


Abstract

Globally coral reefs are at threat from land-sourced pollution. In Australia it is well established that the largest reef system in the world, the Great Barrier Reef, has been seriously damaged by land-sourced pollution primarily from agricultural activities. The Great Barrier Reef is Australia's best documented case of contamination of an ecosystem by pesticides. We describe Australia's current regulatory arrangements for managing pesticide risks to the environment at both national and state level and evaluate the regulatory response to pesticide pollution of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) and its catchments as a case study. It is argued that the relatively advanced state of knowledge about the problem and the Great Barrier Reef's World Heritage status means that it presents the best case scenario for Australia's ability to respond to pesticide risks to the environment. Yet the only regulatory action taken to date – restricted conditions of use for particular chemical products introduced by the Queensland Government – has occurred outside of the dedicated regulatory regime for managing pesticide risks. Other lower profile and less-studied Australian water bodies are likely to be even less protected. The ad hoc, case-by-case and very slow chemical review process administered by Australia's national pesticide regulator has not effectively assessed or addressed chemical risks to the GBR. Some failures of the current system would be addressed by a systematic re-registration program of the kind in place in the European Union and United States. We conclude that to adequately protect the GBR, given its marine protected area and World Heritage status, both the special management provisions for the area already existing plus an effective national pesticide regulatory regime of the standard of the European Union are the minimum requirements.

Item ID: 28699
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: pesticide; regulation; Australia; diuron; atrazine; Great Barrier Reef; coral reefs
ISSN: 1873-2305
Date Deposited: 14 Oct 2013 05:36
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050204 Environmental Impact Assessment @ 50%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050205 Environmental Management @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960501 Ecosystem Assessment and Management at Regional or Larger Scales @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960507 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Marine Environments @ 50%
Downloads: Total: 4
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page