Dbytes #347 (13 September 2018)

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

“Agricultural economists recognised long ago that the environment in northern Australia was not good for irrigated agriculture. The converse recognition, that irrigation schemes are often disastrous for the environment, came much later.”
John Quiggin on ‘Reality is the enemy of irrigated agriculture, Matt Canavan, not greenies’

General News

1. Climate of the Nation 2018
2. Australia is not on track to reach 2030 Paris target
3. The Interwoven World Te Ao I Whiria: Towards an integrated landscape approach in Aotearoa New Zealand
4. More than 30 years of ‘Landcare’ in Australia: five phases of development from ‘childhood’ to ‘mid-life’ (crisis or renewal?)
5. Western Australia warns of funding crisis for threatened species protection

EDG Node News

UMelb Node:
Sacha Jellinek and colleagues on integrating diverse social and ecological motivations to achieve landscape restoration
UQ Node: Angela Guerrero and colleagues on achieving the promise of integration in social-ecological research: a review and prospectus
RMIT Node: Lindall Kidd and colleagues make a submission to the Senate Inquiry on Australia’s Faunal Extinction Crisis
ANU Node:
David Lindenmayer and Chloe Sato on hidden collapse is driven by fire and logging in a socioecological forest ecosystem

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General News

1. Climate of the Nation 2018

Climate change is happening and Australians are concerned about the impacts. More Australians accept the reality of climate change than at almost any time since Climate of the Nation began in 2007. Three quarters (76%, up from 71% 2017) of Australians accept that climate change is occurring, 11% do not think that climate change is occurring and 13% are unsure.

http://www.tai.org.au/content/climate-nation-2018

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2. Australia is not on track to reach 2030 Paris target

While Australia is coming to terms with yet another new prime minister, one thing that hasn’t changed is the emissions data: Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions are not projected to fall any further without new policies.

https://theconversation.com/australia-is-not-on-track-to-reach-2030-paris-target-but-the-potential-is-there-102725
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3. The Interwoven World Te Ao I Whiria: Towards an integrated landscape approach in Aotearoa New Zealand
[Recommended by Sue Streatfield]

In this discussion paper, The Policy Observatory’s Dr David Hall explores the ways that New Zealanders think about the landscape, and how these ideas influence actual decisions about land use. To put New Zealand on the path of long-term prosperity, he endorses the Interwoven World, Te Ao i Whiria, a vision of the landscape that combines and intermingles diverse land use systems. With issues like water quality, climate change and the One Billion Trees Programme high on the public agenda, this discussion paper invites a conversation about the kinds of landscapes we want to live with, and the landscapes we ought to avoid.

https://thepolicyobservatory.aut.ac.nz/publications/the-interwoven-world-te-ao-i-whiria-towards-an-integrated-landscape-approach-in-aotearoa-new-zealand

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4. More than 30 years of ‘Landcare’ in Australia: five phases of development from ‘childhood’ to ‘mid-life’ (crisis or renewal?)

This article describes the five major development phases of Landcare in Australia – from its ‘childhood phase’ beginnings in the mid-1980s to its current day ‘mid-life phase’. The ‘Landcare approach’ in its contemporary form is articulated in the Australian Framework for Landcare 2010–2020 as comprising the Landcare ethic, the Landcare movement founded on stewardship and volunteers, and the Landcare model. There is much evidence to substantiate the pivotal role Landcare has played in stimulating and enabling knowledge sharing, learning and on-ground action across Australia in the arena of natural resource management (NRM); and also to conclude that its potential for contributing to broader impacts, especially landscape-scale change, has been seriously hindered by various ill-conceived and/or executed policy settings and related institutional arrangements…

Ref: Lisa Robins (2018) More than 30 years of ‘Landcare’ in Australia: five phases of development from ‘childhood’ to ‘mid-life’ (crisis or renewal?), Australasian Journal of Environmental Management.
https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14486563.2018.1487342

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5. Western Australia warns of funding crisis for threatened species protection

WA government says federal nature conservation funding fell from $8m in 2009 to $1m in 2016.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/sep/11/western-australia-warns-of-funding-crisis-for-threatened-species-protection?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Tweet

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EDG News

UMelb Node: Sacha Jellinek and colleagues on integrating diverse social and ecological motivations to achieve landscape restoration

Landscape-scale restoration requires stakeholder collaboration and recognition of diverse social and ecological motivations to achieve multiple benefits. Yet few landscape restoration projects have set and achieved shared social and ecological goals. Mechanisms to integrate social and ecological motivations will differ in different landscapes. We provide examples from urban, agricultural, and mined landscapes to highlight how integration can achieve multiple benefits and help incentivize restoration. Better communication of ecological and especially social benefits of restoration could increase motivation. Social and economic incentives from carbon markets are evident in agricultural landscapes, biodiversity offset schemes are unlikely to motivate restoration without proof-of-concept, and framing restoration in terms of ecosystem services shows promise. When setting restoration goals, it is important to recognize the diverse motivations that influence them. In doing so, and by evaluating both social and ecological benefits, we can better achieve desired restoration outcomes. Customizing incentives to cater for diverse stakeholder motivations could therefore encourage restoration projects.
Ref: Sacha Jellinek, Kerrie A. Wilson, Valerie Hagger, Laura Mumaw, Benjamin Cooke, Angela M. Guerrero, Todd E. Erickson, Tara Zamin, Pawel Waryszak & Rachel J. Standish (2018). Integrating diverse social and ecological motivations to achieve landscape restoration. Journal of App Ecol. https://besjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/1365-2664.13248

UQ Node: Angela Guerrero and colleagues on achieving the promise of integration in social-ecological research: a review and prospectus.
We conducted a systematic literature review to investigate the conceptual, methodological, disciplinary, and functional aspects of social-ecological integration. In general, we found that overall integration is still lacking in social-ecological research. Some social variables deemed important for addressing sustainability challenges are underrepresented in social-ecological studies, e.g., culture, politics, and power. Disciplines such as ecology, urban studies, and geography are better integrated than others, e.g., sociology, biology, and public administration. In addition to ecology and urban studies, biodiversity conservation plays a key brokerage role in integrating other disciplines into social-ecological research. Studies founded on systems theory have the highest rates of integration. Highly integrative studies combine different types of tools, involve stakeholders at appropriate stages, and tend to deliver practical recommendations. Better social-ecological integration must underpin sustainability science. To achieve this potential, future social-ecological research will require greater attention to the following: the interdisciplinary composition of project teams, strategic stakeholder involvement, application of multiple tools, incorporation of both social and ecological variables, consideration of bidirectional relationships between variables, and identification of implications and articulation of clear policy recommendations.
Ref: Guerrero, A. M., N. J. Bennett, K. A. Wilson, N. Carter, D. Gill, M. Mills, C. D. Ives, M. J. Selinske, C. Larrosa, S. Bekessy, F. A. Januchowski-Hartley, H. Travers, C. A. Wyborn, and A. Nuno. 2018. Achieving the promise of integration in social-ecological research: a review and prospectus. Ecology and Society 23(3):38. https://doi.org/10.5751/ES-10232-230338

RMIT Node: Lindall Kidd and colleagues make a submission to the Senate Inquiry on Australia’s Faunal Extinction Crisis
“We, as a nation, have the resources and expertise to conduct world-leading biodiversity conservation. Our policies and approach to conservation should reflect global best practices. Yet, Australia continues to fail to meet its international obligations and agreements.”
Ref: Kidd L, Backstrom A, Kusmanoff AM, Gordon A, Gregg E, Damiens F, Thomas FM, Garrard GE, Kirk H, Ringma J, Berthon K, Gutierrez M, Hardy MJ, Selinske M, Croeser T, Bekessy SA. (2018) Submission to the Senate Inquiry on Australia’s Faunal Extinction Crisis, 12pp. https://rmitconservationscience.files.wordpress.com/2018/09/icon-rmit-submission.pdf


ANU Node: David Lindenmayer and Chloe Sato on hidden collapse is driven by fire and logging in a socioecological forest ecosystem
Almost all descriptions of ecosystem collapse are made after it has occurred and not during the process of collapse. We describe the process of collapse in the iconic Australian Mountain Ash ecosystem. We uncovered empirical evidence for hidden collapse, which occurs when an ecosystem superficially appears to be intact but a prolonged period of decline coupled with long lag times for recovery mean that collapse is almost inevitable. This is because key ecosystem components continue to decline for long periods even after drivers of collapse are removed. Hidden collapse suggests a need for actions well before managers perceive they are required. Long-term monitoring targeting different classes of state variables can be used to provide early warnings of impending collapse.
Ref: Lindenmayer, D.B. and Sato, C. (2018). Hidden collapse is driven by fire and logging in a socioecological forest ecosystem. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 115, 5181-5186. http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2018/04/24/1721738115



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About Dbytes
Dbytes is the eNewsletter of the Environmental Decisions Group. It is edited and distributed by David Salt. 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@anu.edu.au. Please keep them short and provide a link for more info. 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 receives support from the Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions (CEED). You can find out about the wonderful work of CEED by reading its magazine, Decision Point (which, as it happens, is also produced by David Salt).

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

 

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