Plan Priorities

The primary role of the Wet Tropics Plan for People and Country is to bring together partners and the community in the region to agree on the priority actions for the coming years. 

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Importantly, this is not a one-off process, but should be an ongoing discussion about how we are progressing, and whether our effort is making the difference that we hope it would.

Bringing new information into the ongoing discussion is a critical part of the ongoing Adaptive Management cycle.

What is the Plan Logic

The foundation of our planning has been the development of our Plan Logic. Put simply, the Plan Logic explains the logic behind our plan!

It shows the link between our priority actions and what we hope to achieve in the short, medium and long term.

Most importantly, the Plan Logic specifies the assumptions that we have made. This is our rationale - the justification for why we think that our actions will lead to our short term outcomes, and why we think those outcomes are important steps towards our long-term goals and vision.

Key Elements of the Plan Logic

The diagram on the right illustrates the key components of the Plan Logic for the Wet Tropics Plan for People and Country. Click on it to see the full detail.

At the longest time frame, we have Our Vision – the lofty state that we are hoping to achieve. Our Regional Goals are long-term and still quite aspirational, but more specific.  It is important that we do whatever we can to track our progress towards these goals, but this is not an easy task and requires the participation of many agencies and organisations in the collection of landscape condition data. The logic endeavours to articulate why each of our regional goals is important in moving towards our vision.

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Our Strategic Outcomes are stepping stones towards the regional goals. Through the many workshops held during the development of the plan, very similar themes emerged about where we would like to be in the next 5 years. Irrespective of which theme we were talking about, there was emphasis on the need for stronger partnerships, better planning and a more engaged community.  These formed our cross-cutting Strategic Outcomes. The logic articulates the assumptions we are making in proposing these are the key strategic outcomes.

Our Priority Actions articulate where the community of the Wet Tropics believes we need to put our effort and investment over the next few years.  For each priority action, there is also a statement about the assumptions we are making and our rationale behind putting such an action up as a priority.

The Monitoring and Evaluation Plan (M&E Plan) is an extension of the Plan Logic and provides the basis for reviewing and evaluating our progress at all levels. The M&E Plan specifies the Evaluation Questions we need to ask to know whether we are making progress at all levels in the logic, as well as the Key Performance Indicators that we need to collect information about in order to answer those questions.

While the full plan is on-line, a summary document has been created which provides an overview of key components of plan development and the regional and community priorities identified through the planning process. 

To download a printable version of the Wet Tropics Plan for People and Country Summary of Priorities, click on this link.

Regional Goals

Extensive discussions with individuals and groups in the early stages of the plan review highlighted a number of key resounding themes which were common at both the local and regional scales. These have become the Regional Goals – the Wet Tropics Big 5 - for the Wet Tropics Plan for People and Country.  In combination with the Local Landscapes, they provide frameworks from which the information and content of the plan can be considered.

  1. Biodiversity relates to the incredible spectrum of plants and animal in the region, both on the land and in the water.
  2. Biosecurity relates to the significant impact that current and potential future invasive species have on our region’s ecosystems and productivity.
  3. Water relates to the rivers and streams flowing through the region and beyond to the Great Barrier Reef.
  4. Sustainable Industries relates to the sectors that drive the economy of the region and underpin our livelihoods and lifestyles.
  5. Coastal Systems relates to the unique values and interconnectedness of our coastal zone and the wide range of interactions including natural and human, that influence how well it functions.

The Regional Goals are integral to the Plan Logic, with a regional landscape goal defined for each one.  Throughout this plan, there is a pattern of reference to these regional themes, including the provision of information, references, useful links, priority actions and mapping resources.

In addition, there are 2 overarching themes of the plan that are used across all elements, both local and regional:

  1. Cultural Connections recognises the past, present and ongoing relationship that the Traditional Owners of the Wet Tropics have with the landscape and the rights of Traditional Owners to be fully involved in, and benefit from, natural resource management in this region.
  2. Climate Futures recognises that there is scientific consensus about climate change and it is critical to understand the implications of this when planning how we manage our landscape.

Click on the link for more information on the Wet Tropics Big 5 Regional Goals.

Strategic Outcomes

Across all of the Wet Tropics Big 5 goals, a suite of enabling outcomes were repeatedly identified as critical to the long-term protection of our Wet Tropics landscape.

The remarkable commonality in the messages from the Wet Tropics Big 5 workshops led to the identification of 5 cross-cutting strategic outcomes for this plan.  They relate to:

  1. Supportive policies, plans and regulations
  2. Collaborative, adaptive planning and action
  3. Traditional Owner benefits
  4. Sustained and diverse resourcing and
  5. Community stewardship, values and action

Click on the link for more information on the Strategic Outcomes for the region.

Priority Actions

The communities of the Wet Tropics region have identified a diverse range of priority actions, which collectively, will help achieve our strategic outcomes and keep us moving towards our longer term goals.  The identification of priority actions was done both regionally and locally.  These were then integrated to arrive at the greatest possible alignment between what people care about in their backyard and regional priorities. There are many specific local priorities that cascade under these that are fully listed on the website with an innovative filtering system that enables the user to locate the projects that are of interest to them. 

To view all the Priority Actions for the Wet Tropics region, click on this link.