In 2000 WG-EMM discussed the need for region-wide and circum-Antarctic estimates of abundance of land-based predators. At the 2001 meeting of WG-EMM it was proposed that a workshop be held in 2002 to assess the feasibility of such broad-scale surveys, and a small intersessional correspondence group was formed to scope out the terms of reference and method of operation for the workshop. The intersessional group developed a draft decision-making framework for planning regional scale surveys and agreed that it be applied at the workshop to a selected region as a means of both assessing and/or developing the framework and undertaking preliminary plans for the region. The framework is designed to be general enough to apply to any species or scale, and addresses the issues of survey specification, survey design, review and use existing information, and estimation of availability (proportion of total population not able to be surveyed) as an integral part of the survey design. The framework also recognises that new technologies and methodologies need to be considered for use wherever possible.