Dbytes #116 (3 September 2013)

Dbytes #116 (3 September 2013)
Info & news for members and associates of the Environmental Decision Group

“Truth or falsity of results derived from measurements should not depend on a fortuitous choice of scale.”
Abel Wolman (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1523-1739.2006.00531.x/abstract)

General News

1. NERP LaP Hub release socio-economic profiles of an area’s capacity for biodiversity conservation.
2. Release of Experimental Land Account Estimates for Queensland 2013
3. Revised standard for managing Australia’s forests

4. Royal Zoological Society of NSW Publications Now Online
5. Are Australian national parks becoming empty churches?
6. Coalition to appoint a threatened species commissioner

EDG News (more details on these items follows general news)

Brisbane
: UQ hosts the second Biennial CEED Conference
Melbourne:
Chris Baker reflects on the first six months of his PhD
Perth: Morteza Chalak working with Resources for the Future (RFF) in Washington
Canberra: David Lindenmayer in Extinction Emergency Webcast
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General News

1. NERP LaP Hub release socio-economic profiles of an area’s capacity for biodiversity conservation.
The Social and Institutional Team has released the socio-economic profiles for our two study areas: Australian Alps and the Tasmanian Midlands. The reports bring together census data on the social characteristics of the areas. They include an interpretation of what the census data tells us about the study areas’ capacity to engage in various biodiversity conservation options. Both reports are available on our website: the Australian Alps Socio-Economic Profile and the Tasmanian Midlands Socio-Economic Profile.
http://www.nerplandscapes.edu.au/publication/australian-alps-socio-economic-report
http://www.nerplandscapes.edu.au/publication/tasmanian-midlands-socio-economic-profile

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2. Release of Experimental Land Account Estimates for Queensland 2013

As part of its work in developing an integrated set of environmental accounts, the ABS today released Experimental Land Account Estimates for Queensland and its associated fifteen Natural Resource Management areas. This follows on from the release of the Victoria Land Account in 2012 and the Great Barrier Reef Land Account in 2011. The Queensland Account provides data on land use, land cover and land value and has been compiled from directly collected data, administrative by-product information and satellite imagery.

Advances in spatial technology have meant that as part of the release, a range of social, economic and environmental data is also available electronically at a small area level using the new Australian Statistical Geography Standard. Agencies are able to use this data and overlay their own spatial files to these layers to produce information for their own use.

The information in this release would be valuable to a range of users, especially those in agencies involved in agriculture, mining, environment and land management, emergency management and development planning.

http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/4609.0.55.003?OpenDocument

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3. Revised standard for managing Australia’s forests
A revised Australian standard for forest management (AS4708–2013) is now in force. The revised and improved standard reflects best forest management practice and strengthens forest managers’ responsibilities in relation to social, cultural and public participation requirements.
“This is the second full revision of the Standard, undertaken to ensure it continues to reflect best management practices, is consistent with international standards for sustainable forest management and meets community expectations,” Chairman of Australian Forestry Standard Ltd, Geoff Gorrie, said.

Some of the changes to the standard include:
-it is clearer and more specific on the requirements for public participation in forest management planning;
-it clarifies the role of monitoring and review of biodiversity values;
-improves requirements for weed and pest control,
http://www.forestrystandard.org.au/announcements/a-new-standard-for-managing-australias-forests

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4. Royal Zoological Society of NSW Publications Now Online

“We are excited to tell you that our RZS NSW publications (Australian Zoologist and the Forum Series) are now available online. This is in addition to the hard copy that we currently produce. This move allows us to access a wider readership, gives readers flexibility on how they access content and gives us the opportunity to publish papers as they become accepted. We have placed some of our back catalogue on the site and all future publications will be hosted there.”

http://rzsnsw.metapress.com/home/main.mpx

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5. Are Australian national parks becoming empty churches?
David Bowman on the Conversation

“While some Australian states are winding back protection for national parks, Victoria is opening up nearly two-thirds of park areas for tourism. Under the plan nature-based tourism ventures will be granted 99 year leases of public land.”

http://theconversation.com/are-australian-national-parks-becoming-empty-churches-17249

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6. Coalition to appoint a threatened species commissioner
Extract from The Guardian Australia

“The Coalition has promised to appoint a threatened species commissioner should it prevail at the election, in a bid to reverse Australia‘s status as one of the world’s worst nations in terms of animal extinctions.

Greg Hunt, the opposition’s environment spokesman, told Guardian Australia that the new role would ensure an effective strategy to save endangered Australian species.

“This will be a position within the department which will have responsibility for three things – the development of threatened species plans, the implementation of those plans and the public reporting of progress,” he said.

“At the moment, when plans are developed, they are rarely implemented. If there is someone responsible with public accountability to work through priority species, we can make real progress.”

Hunt said he would consult with other groups on exactly how the role would be framed, but said that it would require no new legislation or funding.

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/aug/21/coalition-threatened-species-commissioner
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EDG News

Brisbane: UQ hosts the second Biennial CEED Conference
The ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions is coming together this week at the St Lucia campus of the University of Queensland. The last gathering was at the University of Melbourne way back in 2011. This time there will be speed symposia, a Node Review, a range of skills workshops, speed networking, a debate and much talking. You can see the progam at http://www.ceed.edu.au/images/Documents/Conference_program.pdf and hopefully highlights will appear in a future issue of Decision Point.

Melbourne: Chris Baker reflects on the first six months of his PhD
“I’m quickly approaching the six month stage of my PhD. It has certainly been quite an exciting time and a big change from last year. I was in one of the largest research groups in the maths department. It turns out that a group of 9 is actually quite small…”
http://cbakerresearch.wordpress.com/

Perth: Morteza Chalak working with Resources for the Future (RFF) in Washington DC
Morteza Chalak is currently working with researchers at the Resources for the Future (RFF) in Washington DC looking at strategies to improve resource management, specifically in relation to the control of invasive species. RFF is a nonprofit organization in USA that conducts independent research in environmental, energy, and natural resource issues. Morteza is collaborating with Becky Epanchin-Niell to analyze a spatially explicit dynamic process of controlling invasive species in a stochastic setting. Morteza has also met with some other researchers at RFF including Alan Krupnick who is the director of RFF’s Centre for Energy Economics and Policy. Alan’s work on non-market valuation of ecosystem services is very relevant to Morteza’s project on the impact of Gamba grass invasion in Northern Territory and Queensland.

Canberra: David Lindenmayer in Extinction Emergency Webcast

Bob Brown, Tim Flannery and David Lindenmayer spoke in Melbourne on Thursday 28 August in a webcast about Australia’s ‘extinction emergency’.
https://www.facebook.com/events/225752504244819/

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About Dbytes
Dbytes is the eNewsletter of the Environmental Decisions Group. If you have any contributions to Dbytes (ie, opportunities and resources that you think might think be of value to other Dbyte readers) please send them to David Salt (David.Salt@anu.edu.au). Please keep them short and provide a link for more info. Also, email David if you want to unsubscribe (or subscribe someone else). While Dbytes is primarily aimed at members of the EDG, anyone is welcome to receive it.

About EDG
The Environmental Decision Group (EDG) is a network of conservation researchers working on the science of effective decision making to better conserve biodiversity. Our members are largely based at the University of Queensland, the Australian National University, the University of Melbourne, the University of Western Australia, RMIT and CSIRO. The EDG is jointly funded by the Australian Government’s National Environmental Research Program (NERP) and the Australian Research Council’s Centre of Excellence program (CEED).

CEED: http://ceed.edu.au/
NERP ED: http://www.nerpdecisions.edu.au/
EDG: http://www.edg.org.au/

EDG major events: http://www.edg.org.au/events.html
Decision Point: http://www.decision-point.com.au/

 

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