Dbytes #407 (18 December 2019)

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


“This is the first annual climate summit where the general mood was panic and climate grief. It’s the first COP where I’ve seen tears in meetings and the corridors.”
Julie-Anne Richards, Executive Director of Climate Action Network Australia

“After two weeks of protracted talks meant to address the planetary warming emergency, world leaders spectacularly failed to reach any real outcomes. The degree to which wealthy nations, including Australia, blocked progress on critical points of debate incensed both observers and country delegates.”
Kate Dooley, The Conversation

In this issue of Dbytes

1. The Post-2020 Biodiversity Framework: From Aichi 2010 to Kunming 2020
2. A framework to evaluate land degradation and restoration responses for improved planning and decision-making
3. Let’s get political! (as scientists)
4. The expected impacts of climate change on the ocean economy
5. Extinguishing bushfire myths and misconceptions
6. What you’d spend to prevent climate change — and what you could get with your money
7. 2019 Australian Alps feral horse aerial survey results released

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1. The Post-2020 Biodiversity Framework: From Aichi 2010 to Kunming 2020

Next year might be a big year for biodiversity. In February, almost every nation on the planet is meeting in Kunming, China, to discuss how well they are doing at conserving biodiversity. The upcoming event in Kunming is a meeting of the nations which signed up to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). That’s 196 nations, almost everyone except the USA. The February meeting is in preparation for the 15th Conference of the Parties (or COP 15) to be held in October. The main task of COP 15 is to adopt a new ten-year strategic plan for biodiversity. The current ten year plan, known as the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and which includes a set of ‘Aichi Biodiversity Targets’, is about to expire. With 2020 looming it’s time for a new plan and targets. But let’s not be too hasty to move on. What were the Aichi Targets and will Australia meet them?

https://sustainabilitybites.home.blog/

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2. A framework to evaluate land degradation and restoration responses for improved planning and decision-making

Avoiding, reducing or reversing land degradation will require increased restoration investments, carefully targeted and implemented to maximize environmental, economic and social benefits. Our objective was to develop a multi-criteria framework to assess effectiveness of land degradation responses for enhanced land use planning and restoration by evaluating both direct biophysical and socio-economic responses and indirect effects of various restoration strategies. The effectiveness of restoration responses is demonstrated for degraded forestland using a comprehensive literature review and case study in Nepal. The results show that most forestland restoration responses have an ecological focus with tree planting being the dominant direct response and economic and financial instruments the indirect responses. The results confirmed that environmental desirability was the dominant factor and economic feasibility was secondary for assessing restoration responses. Cultural acceptability was given the least consideration. Among sub-criteria, improved vegetative structure was the dominant restoration response. This study, originating from the Land Degradation and Restoration Assessment of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, supports the view that the scientific community and decision-makers must give greater attention to cultural, social, technical, and political dimensions that influence the outcomes of restoration responses to solve the pervasive problem of land degradation.

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/26395916.2019.1697756

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3. Let’s get political! (as scientists)

As a scientist on social media I’ve often been told that I should only comment on things I have expertise in, things I actually work on. And I shouldn’t ‘get political’. Sure, I don’t publicly comment on scientific disciplines I have no experience in. Even within ecology, I rarely comment on animals or systems I don’t work with regularly. And fair enough too. I get really frustrated when scientists without insect expertise make inaccurate public comments about insects, or when ecologists who don’t work on ecosystem services science publicly claim the concept is flawed. So what does it mean to ‘get political’? Some people think it means publicly supporting a political party’s policy or views. This agrees with most definitions of the adjective ‘political’.

https://ecologyisnotadirtyword.com/2019/12/15/lets-get-political-as-scientists/

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4. The expected impacts of climate change on the ocean economy

This paper addresses how the compounding hazards of climate change will impact the ocean economy, specifically marine fisheries, aquaculture, and tourism. The paper examines existing and expected climate-driven changes, highlights opportunities for effective institutions and markets to reduce these impacts, explores opportunities for investments by highlighting the magnitude and direction of climate change impacts, and provides recommendations for how countries can achieve blue economic growth by implementing policies and infrastructure that reduce risks and build resilience to climate change.

https://www.oceanpanel.org/expected-impacts-climate-change-ocean-economy

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5. Extinguishing bushfire myths and misconceptions

Bushfire expert Dr Justin Leonard uncovers some of the biggest myths and misconceptions about bushfires. Dr Leonard has decades of experience in understanding how we can manage bushfire risk to life and infrastructure.

https://blog.csiro.au/extinguishing-bushfire-myths-and-misconceptions/

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6. What you’d spend to prevent climate change — and what you could get with your money

More than 54,000 Australians took part in the nationally representative Australia Talks National Survey, and the number one thing they said was keeping them up at night was climate change. When we asked how much more they’d be personally willing to spend to help prevent climate change, the numbers varied. Some people wouldn’t spend anything more (21 per cent) and some were happy to spend thousands (9 per cent) — but most of us sit somewhere in the middle. On average, we’re willing to chip in at least $200 each year.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-12-17/what-youd-spend-to-halt-climate-change-and-what-you-could-get/11784704

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7. 2019 Australian Alps feral horse aerial survey results released

Combining estimates for each of the three blocks surveyed, the population across the surveyed Australian Alps area increased from an estimated 9,190 in 2014 to 25,318 in 2019. This is an increase of 23% per annum. Such rates of population growth and increase are consistent with international research, survey and monitoring of feral horse populations across the world.

https://theaustralianalps.wordpress.com/2019/12/16/2019-australian-alps-feral-horse-aerial-survey-results-released/

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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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