Info & news for members and associates of the Environmental Decision Group
“Protected areas offer us solutions to some of today’s most pressing challenges But by continuing with ‘business as usual’, we are setting them up for failure. A step-change in the way we value, fund, govern and manage those areas is neither impossible nor unrealistic and would only represent a fraction of what the world spends annually on defence.” James Watson, UQ, EDG (see Brisbane News)
2. Kakadu threatened species strategy released
3. The Australia we Love report
4. Responding to Climate Change: Lessons from an Australian Hotspot
5. Cost-benefit-analysis use limited by lack of belief and fears of loss of influence
Melbourne: Estibaliz Palma visits the Red Centre
Canberra: Jane Catford and Don Driscoll on the perils of pasture plants becoming invasive weeds
Perth: Katrina Davis on accounting for enforcement costs in marine zoning
Brisbane: James Watson on the performance potential of protected areas
1. Blueprint for a Healthy Environment and a Productive Economy The latest publication from the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists Transformative, long-term economic and institutional reforms that Australia must implement if it is to create a healthy environment with a productive economy. http://wentworthgroup.org/publications/
2. Kakadu threatened species strategy released Kakadu National Park is home to 75 threatened species – probably more than any other Australian conservation reserve. A strategy has been released to bring threatened species back from the brink of extinction in the Park. A team of conservation experts and Parks Australia staff have contributed to the development of the strategy written by leading wildlife expert Prof John Woinarski, through the NERP Northern Australia Hub. Work to implement the strategy will start immediately, through a $750,000 investment coordinated by Threatened Species Commissioner Gregory Andrews. This is in addition to the significant conservation work funded through Kakadu’s $17 million annual budget. The $750,000 will deliver four priority projects, in partnership with Indigenous ranger groups where possible. These projects include targeting threats from fire, weeds and feral animals, creative a wildlife refuge on Gardangarl (Field Island), expanding the ‘toad smart’ quolls project, and seedbanking and propagating threatened plant species. http://www.nerpnorthern.edu.au/sites/default/files/managed/files/kakadu_strategy_-_31-10-14.pdf
3. The Australia we Love report As global experts converge on Sydney for the World Parks Congress a landmark report just released by a coalition of 42 environment groups gives a sobering assessment of the health of nature in Australia. The Australia We Love report compiles recent, relevant information about the state of Australia’s rivers, climate, food, forests, waste and pollution, land management, oceans and reefs. http://www.placesyoulove.org/AustraliaWeLove/
4. Responding to Climate Change: Lessons from an Australian Hotspot This new book from CSIRO Publishing brings together the results of cutting-edge research from members of the Griffith Climate Change Response Program, showing how best to respond to anticipated changes and how to overcome barriers to adaptation. The authors treat climate change adaptation as a cross-cutting, multi-level governance policy challenge extending across human settlements, infrastructure, ecosystems, water management, primary industries, emergency management and human health. http://www.publish.csiro.au/nid/20/pid/7014.htm
5. Cost-benefit-analysis use limited by lack of belief and fears of loss of influence Reluctance to use cost-benefit analysis (CBA) in environmental decision making in Germany stems from a preference for traditional approaches and a fear that it leads to loss of influence. This is suggested by new research based on interviews with those responsible for water policy management.
Reference: Dehnhardt, A. (2014). The Influence of Interests and Beliefs on the Use of Environmental Cost-Benefit Analysis in Water Policy – The Case of German Policy-Makers. Environmental Policy and Governance, Early online. DOI:10.1002/eet.1656.
Melbourne: Estibaliz Palma visits the Red Centre Esti Palma, a plant ecologist and PhD student at QAECO, Uni of Melb, reflects on her recent trip to Alice Springs and the Red Centre: A trip to the Red Centre: “During the last week of September and the first of October, ecologists around Australia (and a few from other countries, as well) joined for five days to participate in the Annual Conference of the Ecological Society of Australia. This year, organizers chose a remote but incredible place for the meeting: Alice Springs! I was lucky enough to get a talk accepted into one of the open sessions. My first talk in front of a group of experts in my field! This opportunity to share some of my research ideas made me feel extremely excited… and terrified! …” https://epalmablog.wordpress.com/2014/10/27/a-trip-to-the-red-centre/
Canberra: Jane Catford and Don Driscoll on the perils of pasture plants becoming invasive weeds Jane Catford and Don Driscoll took a multi-media approach to communicating a recent publication in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The paper addressed the risk that breeding new varieties of pasture grass would worsen the threat from invasive weeds. The paper is accessible from Don’s website http://dondriscoll.wordpress.com/
Or you can read about it at The Conversation: https://theconversation.com/feed-or-weed-new-pastures-are-sowing-problems-for-the-future-33733 Or see The movie http://youtu.be/lMz1PXtmo1c [Hey! What was that that just went pasture?!] Or read about it as an ESA Hot Topic http://www.ecolsoc.org.au/hot-topics/weed-risk-set-rise
Perth: Katrina Davis on accounting for enforcement costs in marine zoning CEED PhD student Katrina Davis has just published new research in Conservation Biology demonstrating the benefits of enforcing marine areas. The study incorporates the costs of enforcing catch restrictions and deterring poachers into a marine spatial optimisation model. Results demonstrate that enforcement has net benefits for fisher income; a finding at odds with the low levels of enforcement observed around the world. Reference DAVIS, K., KRAGT, M., GELCICH, S., SCHILIZZI, S. and PANNELL, D. (2014), Accounting for Enforcement Costs in the Spatial Allocation of Marine Zones. Conservation Biology. doi: 10.1111/cobi.12358 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/cobi.12358/abstract
Brisbane: James Watson on the performance potential of protected areas A message from James Watson: “In light of only small progress towards the protected area Aichi Targets, increasing demands on protected areas beyond biodiversity conservation and lots of government back tracking, our new paper makes the case for a fundamental step change in funding, planning and enforcement is urgently needed if protected areas are going to fulfil their potential.” Nature has made this article freely available for the next month, so please share it with anyone you think would be interested. http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v515/n7525/full/nature13947.html
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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/