Dbytes #413 (19 February 2020)

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


“Biodiversity offsets are a step in the right direction compared with where we were, but we are kidding ourselves if we think they are delivering no-net-loss of biodiversity. To achieve no-net-loss we would have a lot more rejections of development applications in Australia, but regulators aren’t prepared to do that in this country.”
Phil Gibbons [see item 1]


In this issue of Dbytes

1. Think Australia’s bushfires killed a lot of animals? Weak environmental laws threaten the lives of more
2. A small win for greater gliders, but stronger environment laws needed to safeguard the species
3. Nature Map Explorer
4. Droughts and flooding rains already more likely as climate change plays havoc with Pacific weather
5. We have the vaccine for climate disinformation – let’s use it
6. Harmonising biodiversity conservation and food security in SW Ethiopia
7. A tale of two climate bills

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1. Think Australia’s bushfires killed a lot of animals? Weak environmental laws threaten the lives of more

Australia has one of the highest rates of extinction of any country in the world. And the key policy that is supposed to minimise the harm — environmental offsets – isn’t working.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2020-02-16/bushfire-wildlife-extinction-offsets/9622980

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2. A small win for greater gliders, but stronger environment laws needed to safeguard the species

ACF is pleased by reports the Department has acted on serious concerns we raised after satellite images revealed an area of confirmed habitat for the endangered greater glider on Meadowbank Station that was meant to be protected under national law was cleared. However, something is wrong if an environmental charity is expected to undertake the monitoring and due diligence that should be part of the Department’s core business.

https://www.acf.org.au/a_small_win_for_greater_gliders_but_stronger_environment_laws_needed_to_safeguard_the_species

And see
ABC News: Greater glider habitat illegally cleared by grazier, department finds
Queensland graziers have illegally cleared the equivalent of seven football fields of protected greater glider habitat, the federal Environment Department has found.

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3. Nature Map Explorer

Mapping terrestrial areas of significance for conservation and restoration of biodiversity, carbon storage, and other ecosystem services.

https://explorer.naturemap.earth/

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4. Droughts and flooding rains already more likely as climate change plays havoc with Pacific weather

Global warming has already increased the risk of major disruptions to Pacific rainfall, according to our research published today in Nature Communications. The risk will continue to rise over coming decades, even if global warming during the 21st century is restricted to 2℃ as agreed by the international community under the Paris Agreement.

https://theconversation.com/droughts-and-flooding-rains-already-more-likely-as-climate-change-plays-havoc-with-pacific-weather-71614

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5. We have the vaccine for climate disinformation – let’s use it

Australia’s recent bushfire crisis will be remembered for many things – not least, the tragic loss of life, property and landscape. But one other factor made it remarkable: the deluge of disinformation spread by climate deniers. As climate change worsens – and with it, the bushfire risk – it’s well worth considering how to protect the public against disinformation campaigns in future fire seasons.
So how do we persuade people not to be fooled? One promising answer lies in a branch of psychology called “inoculation theory”. The logic is analogous to the way a medical vaccine works: you can prevent a virus spreading by giving lots of people a small dose. In the case of bushfire disinformation, this means exposing, ahead of time, the myths most likely to be perpetrated by sceptics.

https://theconversation.com/we-have-the-vaccine-for-climate-disinformation-lets-use-it-130008

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6. Harmonising biodiversity conservation and food security in SW Ethiopia

A new free book from the creators of ‘ideas for sustainability’.

https://ideas4sustainability.wordpress.com/2020/02/17/our-new-book-for-stakeholders-food-and-biodiversity-in-sw-ethiopia/

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7. A tale of two climate bills

One is about meaningful reform, the other is about politics. Last month, Zali Stegall released her long-anticipated climate change bill. This month, the Australian Greens released a climate bill of their own. They are quite different pieces of legislation and I think one is quite solid while the other is more about politics than meaningful outcomes.

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. From 2007-2018 Dbytes was 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 receive it, send me an email and I’ll add you to the list.

David


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