A useful definition of monitoring (and the one used in this
document) is provided by Hellawell (1991), modified by Brown
Monitoring is an intermittent (regular or irregular)
series of observations in time, carried out to show the extent of
compliance with a formulated standard or degree of deviation from
an expected norm.
In line with this definition, we need to define the state
desired in terms of objectives or targets, and then undertake
monitoring to assess whether these objectives are being met.
Monitoring, in the sense used here, is distinct from
surveillance, which is repeated survey using a standard
methodology undertaken to provide a series of observations over
time. Surveillance can yield valuable information on trends in the
state of biodiversity and Earth science, but does not by itself
establish whether objectives or standards have been met.
Information derived from surveillance may be used to inform
judgements on the condition of features on sites.