The Social and Economic Long-Term Monitoring Program (SELTMP) collects primary data on a subset of Great Barrier Reef (GBR) human dimension indicators relating to social, economic, cultural, and governance aspects of the GBR, as described within the Reef 2050 Long Term Sustainability Plan (Reef 2050 Plan). These human dimensions are considered to play a pivotal role in resilience-based management of the GBR.  

Since its inception in 2011, SELTMP has provided GBR decision-makers and the wider public with information about how communities and industries in the GBR region perceive, value, and interact with different aspects of the GBR.

Monitoring by SELTMP has so far encompassed: (1) residents of the GBR catchment region, (2) GBR tourists, (3) GBR tourism operators, (4) GBR commercial fishers, (5) Australian residents nation-wide, and (6) residents of regional GBR catchments associated with Regional Report Cards.

SELTMP’s core module, involving residents of the GBR catchment region, has to date included three data collection snapshots in a time-series: 2013, 2017, 2021, and 2023. The data dashboards linked above present a high-level summary of recent results from 2023, as well as a subset of metrics through this time series. SELTMP’s core module underwent a substantial review and redesign in 2021 (see our 2022 technical report), to address updated objectives and indicators in the Reef 2050 Plan, and to provide information required for adaptive management of the changing Great Barrier Reef social-ecological system.  

In 2021 and 2023, SELTMP’s primary method of data collection was also updated (now largely online-based surveys), to improve cost-effectiveness, and in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Previous surveys in 2013 and 2017 were primarily conducted face-to-face with residents in public spaces at coastal population centres along the GBR coastline (Cooktown to Bundaberg).

Core objectives of SELTMP

The updated version of SELTMP addressed new objectives and indicators in the Reef 2050 Plan, and provided information required for adaptive management of the changing Great Barrier Reef social-ecological system. The updated broad objectives of SELTMP are to: 

  1. Monitor changes in community attitudes towards the GBR, its values and management, and the perceived threats to those values.
  2. Predict attitudinal and behavioural responses to future management interventions in the Reef, and changes in Reef health.
  3. Monitor changes in social and economic well-being of Reef-dependent communities, and the benefits they derive from the GBR.
  4. Assess and monitor social and economic vulnerability, and adaptive capacity of GBR communities to changes in Reef condition & the wider system.


2024 brochure – Download here
2022 brochure – Download here

Funding acknowledgements

Current (2020-2024)

SELTMP is funded by the partnership between the Australian Government’s Reef Trust and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, and is being delivered in partnership with CSIRO, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and the Queensland Government’s Reef Water Quality Program.


The 2017 SETMP program was jointly funded by CSIRO, and the Australian and Queensland governments as part of the Reef 2050 Integrated Monitoring and Reporting Program.


SELTMP was established in 2011 with funding provided by the Australian Government under the National Environment Research Program (NERP), CSIRO, James Cook University and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation.  Original webpage can be found here.