Dbytes #160 (5 August 2014)

Info & news for members and associates of the Environmental Decision Group

“Sustainable development is now like ‘democracy’: it is universally desired, diversely understood, extremely difficult to achieve, and won’t go away” Holden et al (see item 4)

General News

1. Department of the Environment claims its capacity for compliance has improved

2. Senate Committee on effectiveness of National Landcare Program

3. Considering the environment in national strategic thinking

4. Sustainable development: Our Common Future revisited

5. What’s the value of sport?

EDG News

Perth: Marit Kragt on carbon credits for farmers
Melbourne:
Kirsten Parris on why frogs and roads don’t mix
Brisbane: Claire Runge and colleagues publish on the conservation of mobile spp
Canberra: Phil Gibbons critiques ACT offsetting policy in the Canberra Times and Sydney Morning Herald

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General News

1. Department of the Environment claims its capacity for compliance has improved Department of the Environment said it has improved its national environmental law compliance and enforcement activities. http://www.environment.gov.au/resource/improved-compliance-and-enforcement-activities-under-national-environmental-law

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2. Senate Committee on effectiveness of National Landcare Program

On 26 June 2014 the Senate referred the following matter for inquiry and report by 29 October 2014.

The history, effectiveness, performance and future of the National Landcare Program.

The closing date for submissions is 8 August 2014. http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Environment_and_Communications/landcare [Editor’s note: Apologies for the last minute notice on this. I must have missed the original announcement. Anyone with an interest in this topic can still make a submission by the end of this week. For anyone who wants to know more about the history of Landcare, see http://lyrebirds.com.au/2014/08/04/looking-forward-for-the-national-landcare-program/ where I was alerted to this inquiry]

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3. Considering the environment in national strategic thinking This publication is the report of a forum – Considering the environment in national strategic thinking – sponsored by the Department of Agriculture, Australia21 and the Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University held in November 2013. http://www.australia21.org.au/publication-archive/considering-the-environment-in-national-strategic-thinking/#.U-AsM02KBaT

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4. Sustainable development: Our Common Future revisited A reflection of the original statement on sustainability as set out in the book ‘Our common future’, also known as the Brundtland Report in 1987. The authors point out that the concept of sustainable development has become so comprehensive and complex that it is no longer useful in guiding policy. They revisit the basic principles set out in the Brundtland Report, suggest indicators that reflect these principles, then chart what the sustainability space is and where various countries sit in relation to sustainability. Reference Holden E, Kristin Linnerud, David Banister (2014) Sustainable development: Our Common Future revisited. Global Environmental Change 26 (2014) 130–139. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959378014000727

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5. What’s the value of sport? According to the ABS, the value of sport is approx. $13 billion. Therefore we should look after it. Would that the value of biodiversity was as black and white. [Editor’s note: this is not a breaking news story. I’ve been sitting on it a while. This has been a quiet week so I share it with you now under the banner of ‘valuing intangibles’] “Sport and recreation industries generated $12.8 billion in income and employed around 134,000 Australians in 2011-12, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/latestProducts/4156.0.55.002Media%20Release12013

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EDG News

Perth: Marit Kragt on carbon credits for farmers Marit Kragt recently commented on carbon credits in an ABC radio interview on the Federal Government’s approval of carbon credits to farmers. This is a great story for anyone befuddled by the evolving carbon credit story. “Farming groups are pushing ahead with plans for projects to store carbon in soil, after the Federal Government approved a methodology that will allow farmers to earn carbon credits.” http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-07-21/nrn-soil-carbon/5611742

Melbourne: Kirsten Parris on why frogs and roads don’t mix “In Part 1 of this series, I showed how difficult it was for frogs to cross busy roads without getting run over. The second reason that frogs and roads don’t mix flows on from the first one – if frogs can’t cross roads safely, then they can’t move safely between different areas of habitat that are separated by roads. This leads to something ecologists call habitat isolation.” http://kirstenparris.com/2014/07/29/frogs-and-roads-dont-mix-part-2/

Brisbane: Claire Runge and colleagues publish on the conservation of mobile spp “Migratory species move around the landscape, and to conserve them properly we need to coordinate conservation actions across all parts of their seasonal range. In our paper we talk about just what it is that makes conserving mobile species (such as migrants and nomads) such a complex problem. We describe some conservation tools that incorporate the unique needs of mobile species and what we can do when we have very little information.” Reference: Claire A Runge, Tara G Martin, Hugh P Possingham, Stephen G Willis, and Richard A Fuller 2014. Conserving mobile species. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment (e-View) http://dx.doi.org/10.1890/130237

Canberra: Phil Gibbons critiques ACT offsetting policy in the Canberra Times and Sydney Morning Herald “In an attempt to balance urban expansion with the ongoing loss of threatened species in the Bush Capital, the ACT government proposes that impacts from development on threatened species in the ACT must be offset by restoring equivalent biodiversity elsewhere, including in NSW…” http://www.smh.com.au/comment/exporting-bush-from-the-bush-capital-threatens-biodiversity-20140801-zza6t.html

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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/

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EDG major events: http://www.edg.org.au/events.html

Decision Point: http://www.decision-point.com.au/

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