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Assessment

The process of assessing wetlands for the purposes of management and/or to determine funding and investment opportunities can be a complex one. Wetland assessment uses data gathered by wetland inventories. It is important to recognise that assessment requires the analysis of data and uses specialised methodologies and techniques. Assessment involves judgement, comparison and prediction. This information is then used to recommend priority areas for wetland management or investment purposes.

Given the broad scope of wetland types many assessment techniques have been developed for use in Australia.

Arid Queensland after rain Photo by Nick Cuff

Quick facts

Five
of Queensland's wetlands have been assessed and are listed as Ramsar sites. The Directory of Important Wetlands documents wetlands that have been assessed as meeting nationally important wetlands criteria.
AquaBAMM
is a method for assessing high conservation values of wetlands in Queensland.
 

A landscape hazard assessment for wetlands in the Great Barrier Reef catchment

This report details the approach taken to assess hazards to lacustrine and palustrine wetlands in the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) catchments in Queensland. It provides a landscape scale assessment of hazard (as opposed to fully quantified 'risk') arising from land-use, and is conducted as a desktop GIS analysis.

There are many ecological, social and economic reasons for wetland assessment. Assessment methods should be specific and purpose driven. Scientists and resource managers rely on wetland assessments to guide decision making, increase community awareness and identify long-term trends in the condition of wetlands.

Assessments may be undertaken to:

  • determine ecological values (or conservation values) of a wetland or group of wetlands for purposes such as protection, prioritisation and rehabilitation[1][2]
  • monitor wetland condition or health, either in a single event survey or over time in a structured sampling program
  • quantify the risk to wetland structure, processes and/or values from a pressure or activity.

When commencing an assessment it is important to consider the type and scale of the assessment, the range of methods and resources available, and the accuracy of the final results. For example, if the outcome requires the prioritisation of wetlands for funding purposes, an assessment based on biodiversity alone may be inadequate and community capacity criteria may also need to be included.

Great Barrier Reef vulnerability assessments

As an integral part of the Great Barrier Reef Biodiversity Conservation Strategy 2013, vulnerability assessments are being undertaken on habitats, species and groups of species identified as being potentially at risk. These assessments will help inform the strategy's management priorities.

A landscape hazard assessment for wetlands in the Great Barrier Reef catchment

This report details the approach taken to assess hazards to lacustrine and palustrine wetlands in the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) catchments in Queensland. It provides a landscape scale assessment of hazard (as opposed to fully quantified 'risk') arising from land-use, and is conducted as a desktop GIS analysis.

Wetland on-line education modules

A series of on-line education modules, including Assessing wetlands, has been prepared as a resource for people who want to learn more about wetlands.

Users can download and use the contents of this education module to meet their learning and training needs. This information should be used in conjunction with information found on this website.

Addtional Information

Australian Government Biodiversity Assessments


References

  1. ^ National Framework and Guidance for Describing the Ecological Character of Australia’s Ramsar Wetlands. Aquatic Ecosystems Toolkit Module 1: Guidance Paper 2008, Australian Government, Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA), Canberra, ACT, <http://www.environment.gov.au/water/publications/environmental/ecosystems/ae-toolkit-mod-1.html>.
  2. ^ National Framework and Guidance for Describing the Ecological Character of Australia’s Ramsar Wetlands. Aquatic Ecosystems Toolkit Module 3: Guidelines for Identifying High Ecological Value Aquatic Ecosystems (HEVAE) 2008, Australian Government, Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA), Canberra, ACT., <http://www.environment.gov.au/water/publications/environmental/ecosystems/ae-toolkit-mod-3.html>.

Last updated: 25 July 2014

This page should be cited as:

Assessment, WetlandInfo 2014, Department of Environment and Heritage Protection, Queensland, viewed 8 September 2016, <http://wetlandinfo.ehp.qld.gov.au/wetlands/assessment/assessment-methods/>.

Queensland Government
WetlandInfo   —   Department of Environment and Heritage Protection