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Embedded monitoring and evaluation systems that inform NRM actions

Adaptation Pathway

Regional monitoring that utilises local data in respectful ways and the development of region-wide indicators. These enable landholders and support organisations to learn skills and monitor data to measure long-term land-use change outcomes, which inform the implementation of future practices. Opportunities for custodianship and data sharing agreements are key to accessing this pathway.

How was it identified

Over 20 years, there have been calls from the community for better systems and standardisation of monitoring and evaluation. Some large systems have been established, such as the ERIN database of the CYPLUS and the recent Pest Central standard and database for the Queensland Government.
Cape York NRM developed this pathway through its work on implementing tools and setting up systems to track social and environmental outcomes. Some of these include Cybertracker, Fulcrum, environmental accounting, the North Australia Fire Information Service and internal lessons database.






  • Identify the monitoring indicators and tools that groups currently use on Cape York, such as for coral bleaching, vegetation condition, pasture and soil condition and species populations.

  • Analyse the current accessible information to see what works and identify the gaps.


  • Develop indicators for monitoring the environment and people - through surveys, remote sensing technologies and through long-term site monitoring.
  • Evaluate tools that are used by people on Cape York.

  • Identify barriers to developing new tools like Fulcrum and permissions for data sharing.

  • Identify the need for monitoring outcomes of projects and activities.


  • Look for sources of available data.

  • Collate and interpret collected data.

  • Identify locations to implement long-term monitoring sites.

  • Identify gaps to fill, such as plant and animal surveys.

Example Monitoring Indicator

  • Aerial and marine surveillance of coral bleaching and recovery

  • Photo monitoring points of vegetation health

  • Systematic surveys of mammals

  • Number and effectiveness of indicators


  • Monitoring helps with evaluating actions.

  • Long-term monitoring is necessary to improve efficiency and impact of actions.

  • The Cape York community sees the importance of long-term monitoring to provide information on the impacts of their actions.

  • Results of monitoring can influence changes in land management practices.

  • Cape York NRM has general community support to be the custodian of their information, under licence from each data owner.

  • Evaluation tools are readily available and provide a clear measurement of outcomes.


  • Improved performance of projects and actions.

  • Better detection of major signals over the mid to long term.

  • Allows identification of new actions and pathways.


  • Sharing of data and information.

  • Building trust amongst land managers.

  • Legacy of community actions.

  • Building stories of the current and past activities for future practice change.