Compliance Monitoring of Wetlands
Protection of valuable wetland resources is commonly achieved through a combination of direct protection of high-value wetland habitats as “protected sites,” indirect protection of wetland habitats through a protection of the hydrological functionality of the landscape, and limiting environmental pressures on wetland habitats, for example, through licensing of potentially damaging activities. Both the protection of hydrological functionality and the limiting of pressures require regulatory controls. Compliance monitoring is the tool to ensure conformance with planning or licensing conditions and thus ascertains if the hydrological functionality is maintained or the environmental pressure is within acceptable levels. The purpose of compliance monitoring is typically to demonstrate that the quality and integrity of a wetland are maintained while carrying out, and in some cases for a period before and after, a regulated activity. The chapter provides guidelines for the design of a compliance monitoring scheme, including baseline monitoring, monitoring during the regulated activity, and post-activity monitoring. Compliance monitoring can be carried out by the environmental regulating authority or by the operator of the activity. Where the operator carries out the monitoring, the regulator is responsible for spot checks to verify accurate reporting or to support enforcement action.
KeywordsCompliance License Monitoring Environmental standards Hydrological model Environmental risk
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