Costs and effectiveness of education and enforcement, Cairns Section of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park
- Cite this article as:
- Alder, J. Environmental Management (1996) 20: 541. doi:10.1007/BF01474654
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Education, not enforcement, is the preferred management tool to gain acceptance for management prescriptions in marine protected areas. The cost and effectiveness of education and enforcement programs is difficult to estimate. In the management of the Cairns Section of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park from 1985 to 1991, the cost and effectiveness of the two programs were evaluated using an awareness survey and an analysis of annual reports. Both programs were effective in meeting program objectives. Education costs per person were approximately a tenth the cost of enforcement; however, the total cost for education programs was twice that of enforcement programs. Education and enforcement programs interact together with other management activities, and neither program can totally replace the other. Some users will willingly comply with management measures, other users will comply in response to education, but there will be another group who will only respond to enforcement activities. There will also be users who persistently disregard park rules and regulations and will continue to present a problem to managers. For these individuals, education in association with enforcement actions are necessary.