Avoiding implementation failure in catchment landscapes: a case study in governance of the Great Barrier Reef

Dale, Allan P., Vella, Karen, Gooch, Margaret, Potts, Ruth, Pressey, Robert L., Brodie, Jon, and Eberhard, Rachel (2018) Avoiding implementation failure in catchment landscapes: a case study in governance of the Great Barrier Reef. Environmental Management, 62. pp. 70-81.

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Water quality outcomes affecting Australia’s Great Barrier Reef (GBR) are governed by multi-level and multi-party decision-making that influences forested and agricultural landscapes. With international concern about the GBR’s declining ecological health, this paper identifies and focuses on implementation failure (primarily at catchment scale) as a systemic risk within the overall GBR governance system. There has been limited integrated analysis of the full suite of governance subdomains that often envelop defined policies, programs and delivery activities that influence water quality in the GBR. We consider how the implementation of separate purpose-specific policies and programs at catchment scale operate against well-known, robust design concepts for integrated catchment governance. We find design concerns within ten important governance subdomains that operate within GBR catchments. At a whole-of-GBR scale, we find a weak policy focus on strengthening these delivery-oriented subdomains and on effort integration across these subdomains within catchments. These governance problems when combined may contribute to failure in the implementation of major national, state and local government policies focused on improving water quality in the GBR, a lesson relevant to landscapes globally.

Item ID: 51046
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1432-1009
Keywords: governance systems; catchment management; water quality; implementation failure
Funders: National Environment Research Program Tropical Water Quality Hub, Northern Futures Collaborative Research Network (CRN), Australian Research Council (ARC)
Projects and Grants: ARC Linkage Project 130100933
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2017 05:46
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410406 Natural resource management @ 80%
44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4408 Political science > 440805 Environmental politics @ 20%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9609 Land and Water Management > 960903 Coastal and Estuarine Water Management @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9607 Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards > 960701 Coastal and Marine Management Policy @ 50%
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