Dbytes #355 (8 November 2018)

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

“People in parks are more positive, and around areas like major transport hubs more negative, according to our analysis of 2.2 million tweets in Melbourne.”
Kwan Hui Lim et al, The Conversation [and see RMIT Node news]

General News

1. How is the Living Planet Index calculated?
2. Five countries hold 70% of world’s last wildernesses, map reveals
3. ‘The most intellectual creature to ever walk Earth is destroying its only home’
4. Government experts say plan to prevent animal extinctions is failing
5.
2017-18 Department of the Environment and Energy Annual Report tabled
EDG Node News

ANU Node: Michael Vardon and colleagues on putting biodiversity into the national accounts: Creating a new paradigm for economic decisions
RMIT Node: Georgia Garrard and colleagues on here’s how to design cities where people and nature can both flourish
UMelb Node:
Emily McColl-Gausden and colleagues on the DNA trail of the platypus
UWA Node: Fishers’ preference heterogeneity and trade-offs between design options for more effective monitoring of fisheries
UQ Node: Gwen Iacona on accounting for the cost of conservation is necessary to help save species

-~<>~-

General News


1. How is the Living Planet Index calculated?

Editor’s note: last issue we announced the launch of the Living Planet Index. Phil Gibbons provides three links to help you understand what it actually means and how the index is calculated:

Latest report summary (60% loss of biodiversity since 1970):
https://s3.amazonaws.com/wwfassets/downloads/lpr2018_summary_report_spreads.pdf

Details about the current Living Planet Index
http://www.livingplanetindex.org/home/index

And a published paper describing the method
http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/360/1454/289.short

-~<>~-

2. Five countries hold 70% of world’s last wildernesses, map reveals

First map of Earth’s intact ecosystems shows just five nations are responsible for most of them – but it will require global action to protect them.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/oct/31/five-countries-hold-70-of-worlds-last-wildernesses-map-reveals?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

-~<>~-

3. ‘The most intellectual creature to ever walk Earth is destroying its only home’
Introducing the Guardian’s new series The Age of Extinction, the renowned primatologist describes the dramatic vanishing of wildlife she has witnessed in her lifetime – and how we can all play a vital role in halting its destruction

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/nov/03/the-most-intellectual-creature-to-ever-walk-earth-is-destroying-its-only-home?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Tweet

-~<>~-

4. Government experts say plan to prevent animal extinctions is failing
By Nicole Hasham

The Morrison government’s own threatened species experts say Australia is failing in its plan to save wildlife from extinction and the crisis is damaging the nation’s reputation overseas.

It comes as environment officials pull plans for an international unveiling of the government’s widely panned threatened species strategy, after critics derided it as a “global embarrassment” which “reads like a Year 10 school assignment”.

https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/government-experts-say-plan-to-prevent-animal-extinctions-is-failing-20181105-p50e2d.html

-~<>~-

5. 2017-18 Department of the Environment and Energy Annual Report tabled

The 2017–18 Department of the Environment and Energy’s annual report was tabled last week. The report includes annual performance statements, financial statements, legislative reports and covers corporate activities, providing a comprehensive snapshot of what was achieved last financial year. The report shows the diversity and complexity of the Department’s work.
http://www.environment.gov.au/annual-report-2017-18

[Editor’s note: If Environment Annual Reports are your thing, why not check out the annual report statement from the Director of Parks Australia, National Parks
http://environment.gov.au/resource/annual-report-2017-18-director-national-parks]

-~<>~-

EDG News

ANU Node: Michael Vardon and colleagues on putting biodiversity into the national accounts: Creating a new paradigm for economic decisions
Economics has long taken precedence over the environment in both governmental and business decision making, with the System of National Accounts and the indicator GDP coming to represent much that is wrong with the current environmental conditions. Increasing recognition of the environmental damage human activity causes and that human well-being depends on biodiversity and ecosystems means that new systems to measure and sustainably manage the world are needed. Integrating the environment into national accounts has been suggested as a way to improve information but so far impact on decision making is limited. This outlook needs to change. Using examples from Australia and Botswana, we show how integrating information on biodiversity, resource use and the economy via accounting can help create a new decision-making paradigm and enable a new policy framing with spending on biodiversity conservation and sustainability seen as an investment, not a cost.
Ref: Vardon, M., Keith, H., Obst, C. and Lindenmayer, D. 2018. Putting biodiversity into the national accounts: Creating a new paradigm for economic decisions. Ambio: https://doi.org/10.1007/s13280-018-1114-z

RMIT Node: Georgia Garrard and colleagues on here’s how to design cities where people and nature can both flourish
“Urban nature has a critical role to play in the future liveability of cities. An emerging body of research reveals that bringing nature back into our cities can deliver a truly impressive array of benefits, ranging from health and well-being to climate change adaptation and mitigation. Aside from benefits for people, cities are often hotspots for threatened species and are justifiable locations for serious investment in nature conservation for its own sake. Australian cities are home to, on average, three times as many threatened species per unit area as rural environments. Yet this also means urbanisation remains one of the most destructive processes for biodiversity…”
https://theconversation.com/heres-how-to-design-cities-where-people-and-nature-can-both-flourish-102849

UMelb Node: Emily McColl-Gausden and colleagues on the DNA trail of the platypus
The platypus is a ‘near threatened’ species, but researchers are now measuring the DNA they leave behind in the environment as part of the largest-ever investigation into tracking this secretive animal.
https://pursuit.unimelb.edu.au/articles/on-the-dna-trail-of-the-platypus


UWA Node: Fishers’ preference heterogeneity and trade-offs between design options for more effective monitoring of fisheries
Sustainable fisheries management largely depends on how effectively fishing regulations are enforced, which often relies on active monitoring by fishers. If fishers perceive that monitoring schemes do not fulfill their needs, they will resist participating in monitoring. However, fisheries managers worldwide have been making blanket assumptions about the way fishers respond to a monitoring scheme. Although this has been proven to be a common mistake, the literature has remained almost silent about heterogeneity of fisher preferences for monitoring scheme, and how it affects their participation. This study contributes to this knowledge gap by carrying out a choice experiment with artisanal fishers in Vietnam to elicit preferences and value key design elements of monitoring schemes. This is the first study to investigate fishers’ preference heterogeneity using an advanced technique – the Scale-adjusted Latent Class model – that accounts for variance in both preferences and scale. We identified five distinct preference classes. Remarkably for a poor community, monetary compensation was found not to be the prime driver of fishers’ choices. A one-size-fits-all monitoring scheme is ill-suited to all fishers. The design of flexible schemes can be an effective way to enhance the likelihood of fisher participation and the effectiveness of regulation enforcement.
Ref: Thi Quynh, C. N., Schilizzi, S., Hailu, A., Iftekhar, M. S.,(2018). Fishers’ preference heterogeneity and trade-offs between design options for more effective monitoring of fisheries. Ecological Economics, 151, 22-33. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921800917306614

UQ Node: Gwen Iacona on accounting for the cost of conservation is necessary to help save species
A lack of accurate and consistent estimates of the cost of conservation interventions has been hindering conservation decisions, both at local and international scales.
https://spark.adobe.com/page/g9tVkZLuVQvvb/


-~<>~-

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/  

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s