Dbytes #406 (11 December 2019)

Info, news & views for anyone interested in biodiversity conservation and good environmental decision making


“We are now in uncharted territory, we’ve gone over the 1 million-hectare mark, and for the forests and woodlands in the eastern half of the state this is unprecedented. It exceeds major fire seasons such as Christmas 2001, January 1994. We are approaching other significant fire seasons such as the alpine fires in 2003 in Victoria, and again in 2006 which were massive blazes. The most concerning thing to emphasise is it’s not over, we are not even into summer yet.”
Ross Bradstock [part of the story on how global warming has changed the world since your childhood, see item 5.]

In this issue of Dbytes

1. Australia’s Faunal Extinction Crisis Report
2. NFF launch A Return on Nature, Enabling the market for sustainable finance and ecosystem services.
3. Best practice land use planning
4. Fractured Forests Are Endangering Wildlife
5. See how global warming has changed the world since your childhood
6. Playbook for Climate Action
7. The Morrison Doctrine: we’re only a tiny part of the problem!


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1. Australia’s Faunal Extinction Crisis Report

A Senate committee issued reports from its inquiry into the faunal extinction crisis.

https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Environment_and_Communications/Faunalextinction2019/Interim_Report

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2. NFF launch A Return on Nature, Enabling the market for sustainable finance and ecosystem services.

The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) and KPMG Australia (KPMG) have released research showing new opportunities for farmers to unlock the value of natural capital, such as the land and ecosystems that underpin farm production. The new sustainable finance mechanisms could unlock billions in additional farm income. The report shows an immediate opportunity to implement sustainable finance instruments in the agricultural sector to provide incentives and rewards to farmers and other landholders for improved environmental outcomes.
Key recommendations are:
Implement the $30 million Pilot Agricultural Stewardship Program including supporting a research project to further develop these instruments;
Establish a $1 billion National Biodiversity Conservation Trust as per the Craik review recommendations; and
The development of a National Natural Capital Policy and Government established standards and trading structures.

https://www.nff.org.au/read/6669/nff-kpmg-reveal-opportunities-unlock-new.html

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3. Best practice land use planning

While agriculture remains Australia’s dominant land use, its share is declining. 1973 to 2017 saw a 14% decline in land used for food and fibre production, down from 500 million hectares to 394 million over that time period. With Australia’s population predicted to reach 48 million in the next 50 years, it is imperative that land for food and fibre production remains viable, productive and at a scale needed to sustain Australia’s growing population. At a local, regional and national scale, changes in land use patterns, availability and regulations have the potential to significantly impact the expansion of Australia’s farm sector, particularly with competition from urban encroachment. Productive land—be it urban, rural or regional—requires planning attention in its own right. A comprehensive and strategic approach to resource and land use planning is needed to appropriately value and prioritise agricultural production in planning decisions, particularly in development assessments and approvals. The project examines various challenges that arise from the current land use planning frameworks to inform a more comprehensive discussion across Australian jurisdictions on best practice approaches that recognise the long term strategic value of agriculture. The aim being to inform future improvements to land use planning that caters for future food and fibre production.

https://www.agrifutures.com.au/product/best-practice-land-use-planning/

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4. Fractured Forests Are Endangering Wildlife

The world’s forests are being carved into pieces. In tropical regions, animals are likely to pay a heavy price.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/05/science/forests-fragmentation-wildlife.html

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5. See how global warming has changed the world since your childhood

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-12-06/how-climate-change-has-impacted-your-life/11766018

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6. Playbook for Climate Action

The Playbook for Climate Action showcases five innovative pathways for reducing emissions and climate impacts. A comprehensive suite of science-based solutions, the playbook presents actions governments and companies can deploy—and scale—today.

https://www.nature.org/en-us/what-we-do/our-insights/perspectives/playbook-for-climate-action/?sf112698517=1&src=s_two.gc.x.x.

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7. But we’re only a tiny part of the problem!
The bankrupt philosophy underpinning the Morrison Doctrine.

The Morrison Doctrine says that our ‘sin’ is but a small part of the overall ‘sin’ and doing something about our sin wouldn’t make much difference to the global total. The unstated part of this train of logic is: therefore, we needn’t bother because doing something will cost us.

https://sustainabilitybites.home.blog/

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About Dbytes

Dbytes is a weekly eNewsletter presenting news and views on biodiversity conservation and environmental decision science. For the past decade Dbytes has been supported by a variety of research networks and primarily the Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions (CEED). From 2019 Dbytes is being produced by David Salt (Ywords).

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.

Anyone is welcome to receive Dbytes. If you would like to received it, send me an email and I’ll add you to the list.

David Salt

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