A review of Australian approaches for monitoring, assessing and reporting estuarine condition: I. International context and evaluation criteria
Given the immeasurable value of estuaries and their severe and growing pressures, sound understanding and reporting of estuarine condition is essential for their effective management and sustainable development. In light of this, we aim to provide a timely and comprehensive three-part review of the approaches currently employed for monitoring, assessing and reporting estuarine condition, focussing on Australian systems. Here, in Part 1, we establish the national and international context of our review and define globally-relevant evaluation criteria against which to assess Australian progress. We achieve this by examining effective monitoring, assessment and reporting programs from around the world and characterising ‘best practice’. We then highlight the Australian historical context and consider recent policies, frameworks, guidelines and legislation relating to the monitoring and reporting of estuarine condition nationwide.