Dbytes #478 (2 June 2021)

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

“In essence, the [new Threatened Species] strategy sends a few extra ambulances to the bottom of the cliff, rather than installing a fence at the top to stop species tumbling over.”
Euan Ritchie et al {See item 2]


In this issue of Dbytes

1. Scientists propose urgent $824m mission to document Australia’s undiscovered plants and animals
2. Australia’s threatened species plan sends in the ambulances but ignores glaring dangers
3. Setting robust biodiversity goals
4. Out of control with a smidgen of humility
5. Fostering local involvement for biodiversity conservation in tropical regions: Lessons from Madagascar during the COVID-19 pandemic

6. These birds will soon go extinct. But their disappearance need not be in vain.
7. What to Save? Climate Change Forces Brutal Choices at National Parks.


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1. Scientists propose urgent $824m mission to document Australia’s undiscovered plants and animals

The Australian Academy of Science says some $824m will be needed over the next 25 years to complete a mammoth task becoming more urgent as the climate crisis puts more species at risk of extinction. Economic research commissioned by the academy and released today argues every dollar spent on the taxonomy mission could deliver between $4 and $35 in benefits.

The Guardian

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2. Australia’s threatened species plan sends in the ambulances but ignores glaring dangers

The ten-year plan builds on the first strategy launched in 2015, and contains welcome changes. But there remain serious questions about how the plan will be funded and implemented – and quite possibly undermined by other federal government policies. In essence, the strategy sends a few extra ambulances to the bottom of the cliff, rather than installing a fence at the top to stop species tumbling over.

https://theconversation.com/australias-threatened-species-plan-sends-in-the-ambulances-but-ignores-glaring-dangers-161407

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3. Setting robust biodiversity goals

The new global biodiversity framework (GBF) being developed under the Convention on Biological Diversity must drive action to reverse the ongoing decline of the Earth’s biodiversity. Explicit, measurable goals that specify the outcomes we want to achieve are needed to set the course for this action. However, the current draft goals and targets fail to set out these clear outcomes. We argue that distinct outcome goals for species, ecosystems, and genetic diversity are essential and should specify net outcomes required for each. Net outcome goals such as “no net loss” do, however, have a controversial history, and loose specification can lead to perverse outcomes. We outline seven general principles to underpin net outcome goal setting that minimize risk of such perverse outcomes. Finally, we recommend inclusion of statements of impact in action targets that support biodiversity goals, and we illustrate the importance of this with an example from the draft GBF action targets. These modifications would help reveal the specific contribution each action would make to achieving the outcome goals and provide clarity on whether the successful achievement of action targets would be adequate to achieve the outcome goals and, in turn, the 2050 vision: living in harmony with nature.

https://conbio.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/conl.12816

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4. Out of control with a smidgen of humility

People in wealthier countries perceive a greater sense of control over climate change impacts

“Don’t tell us what to do,” our national government effectively said. “We’re in control, we’ve got it covered.” Of course, as events were to show, they didn’t.

Sustainability Bites: https://bit.ly/2MsmLyX

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5. Fostering local involvement for biodiversity conservation in tropical regions: Lessons from Madagascar during the COVID-19 pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has challenged existing conservation structures and management but provides an opportunity to re-examine strategies and research approaches across the tropics to build resilience for future crises. Based on the personal experiences of conservation leaders, managers, and researchers from Madagascar during this period, we discuss the coping strategies of multiple biodiversity conservation organizations during the coronavirus pandemic. We highlight the vital role of local communities in building and maintaining resilient conservation practices that are robust to global disruptions such as the COVID-19 crisis. We argue that the integration of local experts and communities in conservation, research, and financial decision-making is essential to a strong foundation for biodiversity conservation in developing countries to stand up to future environmental, political, and health crises. 

Fostering local involvement for biodiversity conservation in tropical regions: Lessons from Madagascar during the COVID‐19 pandemic – Razanatsoa – – Biotropica – Wiley Online Library

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6. These birds will soon go extinct. But their disappearance need not be in vain.

Even under moderate climate warming, models predict a severe loss of suitable climate for these birds within the next 50 years – dramatically heightening their risk of extinction.

These birds will soon go extinct. But their disappearance need not be in vain. (cam.ac.uk)

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7. What to Save? Climate Change Forces Brutal Choices at National Parks.

For decades, the core mission of the Park Service was absolute conservation. Now ecologists are being forced to do triage, deciding what to safeguard — and what to let slip away.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/18/climate/national-parks-climate-change.html

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About Dbytes

Dbytes is a weekly eNewsletter presenting news and views on biodiversity conservation and environmental decision science. ‘D’ stands for ‘Decision’ and refers to all the ingredients that go into good, fair and just decision-making in relation to the environment.

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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