Principles for Environmental Monitoring and Reporting
There are eight governing principles that a monitoring and reporting system should adhere to in order to ensure that it is fit-for-purpose;
- Based on rigorous, open and repeatable scientific investigation
- Scientifically credible and accepted by experts, stakeholders and end users
Provide comprehensive data that is;
- Representative of key issues and broader impacts or effects
- Sufficient for informed decision making
- Cover the objectives of the intervention both objective (e.g. Factual, quantitative) and subjective (e.g. Opinion based, qualitative) evidence
- Provide evidence on both the costs and benefits of the legislation
- Includes consideration of community, social and traditional knowledge
- Responsive to changes within a useful reporting time scale
- Weight of evidence provided should reflect the importance placed on different aspects of the intervention
- Compatible with other indicators to present an overall picture
- Maintain balance between the extent of information requested and the cost of its provision
4. Effectiveness and efficiency
- Deliver monitoring and reporting activities in a coordinated way that makes the best use of public and private resources
- Readily communicable, interesting, clear and easy to understand
- Useful for prediction and forecasting
- Relevant to needs of policy-makers or enable individuals to make meaningful decisions
5. Standardized data and data management
- Data should be standardized
- Respect data management protocols and develop new protocols as appropriate, to ensure compatibility and facilitate the effective sharing of data, support data integrity, permit comprehensive data analysis, and protect historical records.
6. Verification & Validation
- Evaluate how closely the documents and procedures were followed during data generation
- Identify the project needs for records, documentation, and technical specifications for data generation; and determining the location and source of these records
- Verifying records that are produced or reported against the method, as per the field and analytical operations such as sample collection, sample receipt, sample preparation, sample analysis etc.
- Use analytic & sample-specific processes that extend the evaluation of data beyond method or procedural compliance (i.e., data verification) to determine the analytical quality of a specific data set.
- Timing of reporting should align with the requirement of related agencies
- Provide data that is up-to-date at the point of use
- All evidence gathered should be made available to the general public (subject to appropriate aggregation and confidentiality limitations).