Environmental Management

, Volume 20, Issue 4, pp 541–551

Costs and effectiveness of education and enforcement, Cairns Section of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park

  • Jackie Alder

DOI: 10.1007/BF01474654

Cite this article as:
Alder, J. Environmental Management (1996) 20: 541. doi:10.1007/BF01474654


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.

Key words

Protected area Education Enforcement Marine park 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jackie Alder
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Environmental ManagementEdith Cowan UniversityJoondalupAustralia
  2. 2.Department of Tropical Environment Studies and GeographyJames Cook UniversityTownsvilleAustralia

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