Dbytes #486 (28 July 2021)

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

“This is history repeating itself. In 2015, I was asked to review a UNESCO report on climate change and World Heritage sites, which included the Great Barrier Reef. In the final report, all mention of the Reef was cut completely, after the Australian government successfully pressured UNESCO to remove any reference to it.”
Will Steffen on UNESCO decision not to list the GBR on ‘in danger’ list.
[and see item 4]


In this issue of Dbytes

1. Natural Climate Solutions for Corporates
2. Fixing the Environment is the right thing to do? Isn’t it?
3. Nature’s Paris moment: does the global bid to stem wildlife decline go far enough?
4. Not declaring the Great Barrier Reef as ‘in danger’ only postpones the inevitable
5. The mismeasure of conservation
6. Amazonia as a carbon source linked to deforestation and climate change
7. Rapid increases and extreme months in projections of United States high-tide flooding

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1. Natural Climate Solutions for Corporates

A high-level guide to the credible use of natural climate solutions credits by corporate entities. From the Natural Climate Solutions Alliance.

http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_NCSA_NCS_for_Corporates_2021.pdf

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2. Fixing the Environment is the right thing to do? Isn’t it?
Beware the Siren’s call of populism

Why do we find ourselves stuck in reform gridlock? Could it be the rise of neoliberalism is pushing out ‘capital C’ Conservatism? While material wealth is up, it’s just as important to note that commitment-driven behaviour, such as church-going, volunteering and even sticking with one football team for life, is down.

https://sustainabilitybites.home.blog/

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3. Nature’s Paris moment: does the global bid to stem wildlife decline go far enough?

There are concerns a new UN biodiversity framework is not ambitious enough and calls for Australia to take a leading role

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/jul/24/natures-paris-moment-does-the-global-bid-to-stem-wildlife-decline-go-far-enough

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4. Not declaring the Great Barrier Reef as ‘in danger’ only postpones the inevitable

After much anticipation, the World Heritage Committee on Friday decided against listing the Great Barrier Reef as “in danger”. The decision ignored the recommendation of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the UNESCO World Heritage Centre — a recommendation based on analyses by Australian scientific experts of the reef’s declining condition.

https://theconversation.com/not-declaring-the-great-barrier-reef-as-in-danger-only-postpones-the-inevitable-164867

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5. The mismeasure of conservation

A key role of area-based conservation is saving biodiversity or achieving conservation impact by avoiding loss and/or promoting recovery.
Conservation measures commonly used as policy targets, such as extent of protection and representation of ecosystems and species, are unreliable guides to conservation impact.
Most evaluations of the impact of area-based measures have been retrospective, but with lessons for future decisions.
Recent developments in impact evaluation show the feasibility of predicting conservation impact as a basis for setting targets and priorities, applicable to a wide range of area-based measures.
The post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework has the potential to guide jurisdictions in achieving quantitative targets for impact instead of targets based on measures that could cause area-based conservation interventions to fail in protecting imperiled biodiversity.

The mismeasure of conservation – ScienceDirect
&
Measuring conservation in a way that counts – ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (coralcoe.org.au)

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6. Amazonia as a carbon source linked to deforestation and climate change

Amazonia hosts the Earth’s largest tropical forests and has been shown to be an important carbon sink over recent decades1,2,3. This carbon sink seems to be in decline, however, as a result of factors such as deforestation and climate change1,2,3. Here we investigate Amazonia’s carbon budget and the main drivers responsible for its change into a carbon source. We performed 590 aircraft vertical profiling measurements of lower-tropospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide at four sites in Amazonia from 2010 to 20184. We find that total carbon emissions are greater in eastern Amazonia than in the western part, mostly as a result of spatial differences in carbon-monoxide-derived fire emissions. Southeastern Amazonia, in particular, acts as a net carbon source (total carbon flux minus fire emissions) to the atmosphere.

Amazonia as a carbon source linked to deforestation and climate change | Nature

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7. Rapid increases and extreme months in projections of United States high-tide flooding

Coastal locations around the United States will experience significantly more frequent and intense high-tide flooding during the mid-2030s due to the combined effects of climate change-induced sea level rise and the nodal cycle. The nodal cycle, described as a “moon wobble” that occurs on an 18.6 year cycle, causes higher-than-usual tides.

Rapid increases and extreme months in projections of United States high-tide flooding | Nature Climate Change

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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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