Dbytes #447 (15 October 2020)

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


“How do we draw the line between sustainability science and sustainability activism? What is a good scientific argument, and what is merely a political argument? I see in our students that their passion to change the world for the better, collectively, is at an all time high. But what is the role of science in this?”
Joern Fischer on Teaching environmental science in an era of destruction


In this issue of Dbytes

1. ‘Devastating’: The Morrison government cuts uni funding for environment courses by almost 30%
2. Why common names are essential for bee conservation
3. Scoping the State of the Environment Report 2021
4. Making the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration a Social-Ecological Endeavour
5. An uninhabitable hell’: UN says climate change ‘doubled the rate’ of disasters
6. Australian court calls into question RFAs
7. Living Planet Index for Migratory Freshwater Fish

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1. ‘Devastating’: The Morrison government cuts uni funding for environment courses by almost 30%

There has been much attention on how the Morrison government’s university funding reforms will increase the cost of humanities degrees. But another devastating change has passed almost unnoticed: a 29% cut to funding to environmental studies courses. This is one of the largest funding cuts to any university course. Universities will receive almost A$10,000 less funding for each student undertaking environmental studies.

https://theconversation.com/devastating-the-morrison-government-cuts-uni-funding-for-environment-courses-by-almost-30-147852

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2. Why common names are essential for bee conservation

Lately on social media I have seen some spread of the idea that common names for bee species are detrimental to the science and conservation of bees and so should be avoided. I disagree, and in fact I regard common names as a vital part of bee conservation. Let me explain why…

https://ecologyisnotadirtyword.com/2020/10/08/why-common-names-are-essential-for-bee-conservation/

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3. Scoping the State of the Environment Report 2021

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DAWE is seeking feedback on the scoping papers for the 2021 State of the Environment report. Submissions close on 25 October 2020.

https://haveyoursay.awe.gov.au/state-of-environment

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4. Making the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration a Social-Ecological Endeavour

The UN declared 2021–2030 the Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, and this opens new opportunities for restoration ecologists. We argue that ecosystem restoration will be most effective if approached from a social-ecological perspective. We synthesize key insights from the field of social-ecological systems research that are particularly relevant for ecosystem restoration.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0169534720302482

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5. An uninhabitable hell’: UN says climate change ‘doubled the rate’ of disasters

Climate change is largely responsible for a doubling in the number of natural disasters since 2000, the United Nations said Monday, as it warned that the Earth was becoming uninhabitable for millions of humans.

https://www.theage.com.au/environment/climate-change/an-uninhabitable-hell-un-says-climate-change-doubled-the-rate-of-disasters-20201013-p564hj.html

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6. Australian court calls into question RFAs

The Federal Court has found that VicForests, a Victorian Government forestry corporation, was in breach of a statutory Code of Practice for Timber Production that had been accredited under a federal-state Regional Forest Agreement (RFA). As a result, RFAs are being challenged elsewhere. In one respect the end of RFAs would be unfortunate, as the underlying model of regional environmental assessments and approvals is a good one. In another respect, if RFAs simply provide cover for defensive box ticking and green-washing rather than substantive conservation, this would be no great loss.

https://sustainabilitybites.home.blog/

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7. Living Planet Index for Migratory Freshwater Fish

The Living Planet Index for Migratory Freshwater Fish is the first comprehensive global report on the status of migratory fish. The technical report finds migratory freshwater fish are under immense threat from human-made impacts and urgent action is required to halt and then reverse the alarming decline.

https://worldfishmigrationfoundation.com/living-planet-index-2020/

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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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