Dbytes #128 (26 November 2013)

Dbytes #128 (26 November 2013)
Info & news for members and associates of the Environmental Decision Group

“If you have an important point to make, don’t try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time – a tremendous whack.”
Winston Churchill

General News

1. Australian Feral Camel Management Project (AFCMP) has been completed
2. Report: Sampling soil organic carbon to detect change over time
3. Australia’s population projected to double by 2075
4. The Future State 2030 report
5. Climate change film competition

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

Brisbane: Hugh Possingham is an ‘experto australiano’

Canberra: David Lindenmayer on monitoring endangered species to death
Perth: Marit Kragt runs a workshop on carbon / biodiversity farming
Melbourne: Mick McCarthy on Writing concisely about indices of extinction risk

General News

1. Australian Feral Camel Management Project (AFCMP) has been completed

Among its outcomes, the $15mill AFCMP has:
– removed over 160,000 feral camels, achieving low density targets at key environmental sites
– reduced the impact on pastoral leases
– conducted extensive surveys that now estimate the current population to be in the vicinity of 300,000

– established landholder consent across 1.3 million sq km of priority management areas for commercial and/or non-commercial feral camel removal
– built strong collaborations across federal, state and local government agencies, natural resource management bodies, pastoralist and Aboriginal stakeholder groups.

More info: http://scinews.com.au/releases/867/view


2. Report: Sampling soil organic carbon to detect change over time

CSIRO report on sampling soil organic carbon released. The Australian Government has partnered with the Grains Research and Development Corporation and commissioned the CSIRO to develop a statistically efficient approach for land managers to sample soil carbon at the paddock scale. Working with the CSIRO, the Department of the Environment is using the findings of this report to develop both a user-friendly method for designing project‑scale soil sampling programs and also standards for analysing soil carbon.

One interesting finding reads: “in some situations, particularly where soil carbon levels vary greatly cross a given area, it may not currently be cost effective to sample intensively enough to detect statistically significant changes in soil carbon”.



3. Australia’s population projected to double by 2075

Given that population growth underpins most of the drivers behind biodiversity decline (eg, see item 4), future projections of population growth serve as a backdrop to most of our research.

Australia’s population is projected to double to 46 million by 2075, according to the latest population projections released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

“Based on our projections, with medium growth, Australia will double its population by the year 2075,” said Bjorn Jarvis, Director of Demography at the ABS, “but under our high and low scenarios it could be as early as 2058, or after 2101.”

“Highlights from the ABS projections include Perth overtaking Brisbane in 2028, at three million people, and then ten years later, the Australian Capital Territory overtaking Tasmania. Melbourne and Sydney should be neck and neck by 2053, with 7.9 million people each.”

“By 2040, Western Australia’s population is projected to almost double in size, from 2.4 million people in 2012 to 4.7 million. Queensland will have gone from 4.6 million people to 7.3 million, and the Australian Capital Territory will have grown from 375,000 people to 586,000.



4. The Future State 2030 report

Governments need to plan, think and act differently if they are to meet the global megatrends increasingly straining the world’s resources and economic capacity, according to a global report. The Future State 2030 report was prepared and released by KPMG International in partnership with The Mowat Centre at the School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Toronto.

It details nine so-called megatrends facing governments at all levels around the world and assesses policy and strategic actions that governments need to take immediately to be successful in the future. The megatrends encompass some of the world’s most critical challenges, including:

-resource scarcity, with a 50 per cent increase in global food supply, and a 40 per cent increase in water needed to meet demand in 2030;
-a ‘tidal wave’ of young people entering the labor force in developing economies, with growing strain of rapidly ageing populations in most developed countries;
-an expanding and more technology adept and connected middle class exerting greater demands on government in the face of rising public debt; and economies becoming increasingly interconnected and interdependent.



5. Climate change film competition
The Action 4 Climate group is running a film competition (It’s just like our EDG Video competition, see below, except it has much better prizes. So, if you’re making the effort for one, you might consider the other as well.)

Summary: Climate Change film competition to “amplify youth voices on climate change”
Two age groups: 14–17 and 18–35.
Films to be 1-12 minutes long.
Deadline: 15th Feb 2014
Cash prizes up to $15,000 or video equipment.
Winning films launched on MTV Voices and festivals.

More info: http://www.connect4climate.org/competition/action4climate

The Great EDG Video Competition
Calling all members of the Environmental Decision Group. If you have a good idea for communicating your science or the science of the EDG network, then here is a chance for you to show your creative colours, be in the running for some great prizes and have your work promoted to the world. We want you to make a short video explaining the value of your research.

Entries are now open to all members of the Environmental Decision Group.
Entries close April 4, 2014.
Visit http://dondriscoll.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/edg-video-competition-entry-form-nov-2013.pdf for the brochure.


EDG News

Brisbane: Hugh Possingham is an ‘experto australiano’

Hugh Possingham was recently spotted lecturing at the Universidad Catolica del Norte in Chile. Here’s proof (not sure what they are saying about him, it’s in Spanish). http://www.noticias.ucn.cl/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3440:experto-australiano-en-conservacion-de-ecosistemas-visita-la-ucn&catid=84:noticias-de-academia&Itemid=73

Canberra: David Lindenmayer on monitoring endangered species to death
“Three leading Australian environmental scientists have called for a substantial change to the way the world responds to wildlife that is going extinct. In a paper provocatively entitled “Counting the books while the library burns”, the researchers produce evidence that many wildlife programs round the world are monitoring species to the point of extinction – often without taking the necessary action to save them. Professor David Lindenmayer and Dr Maxine Piggott of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions (CEED) and the Australian National University, and Assoc. Professor Brendan Wintle of CEED and the University of Melbourne warn in the journal Frontiers of Ecology that some conservation programs are standing by and watching species die out.”

Perth: Marit Kragt runs a workshop on carbon / biodiversity farming
Last week Marit Kragt ran a workshop at UWA on ‘Trade-offs between carbon farming – biodiversity co-benefits’. It was jointly funded by a UQ-UWA collaboration award and NERP. The workshop included participants from a wide range of affiliations including government, environmental organisations and academia. Marit opened the workshop by saying: “Carbon farming is going to be incredibly expensive, so we need to realistically consider the co-benefits of this activity. This workshop brings together various players working on this issue in the hope of creating valuable collaborations and sparking useful research outputs.” A workshop report will appear in an up and coming issue of Decision Point.
Marit Kragt marit.kragt@uwa.edu.au

Melbourne: Mick McCarthy on Writing concisely about indices of extinction risk
A post on the joys of editing science.
“For three years I have worked on a paper in which we develop indices of ecological communities that relate to extinction risk. One of these indices depends on the geometric mean abundance of species, an increasingly used biodiversity metric…  …Here I discuss my less than concise communication of our paper. Though a fan of concise communication, I don’t claim expertise.”


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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