Dbytes #489 (18 August 2021)

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

“We found invasive species now cost Australia around A$24.5 billion a year, or an average 1.26% of the nation’s gross domestic product. The costs total at least A$390 billion in the past 60 years.”
Corey Bradshaw and Andrew Hoskins [see item 7]


In this issue of Dbytes

1. Scientific foundations for an ecosystem goal, milestones and indicators for the post-2020 global biodiversity framework
2. Three experts and a politician in a sandpit – who has the real insight on climate policy in a connected society
3.What’s a national park and why does it matter?
4. Advancing Social Equity in and Through Marine Conservation
5. The political effects of emergency frames in sustainability
6. Fossil fuel misinformation may sideline one of the most important climate change reports ever released
7. Pest plants and animals cost Australia around $25 billion a year – and it will get worse

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1. Scientific foundations for an ecosystem goal, milestones and indicators for the post-2020 global biodiversity framework

Despite substantial conservation efforts, the loss of ecosystems continues globally, along with related declines in species and nature’s contributions to people. An effective ecosystem goal, supported by clear milestones, targets and indicators, is urgently needed for the post-2020 global biodiversity framework and beyond to support biodiversity conservation, the UN Sustainable Development Goals and efforts to abate climate change. Here, we describe the scientific foundations for an ecosystem goal and milestones, founded on a theory of change, and review available indicators to measure progress. An ecosystem goal should include three core components: area, integrity and risk of collapse. Targets—the actions that are necessary for the goals to be met—should address the pathways to ecosystem loss and recovery, including safeguarding remnants of threatened ecosystems, restoring their area and integrity to reduce risk of collapse and retaining intact areas. Multiple indicators are needed to capture the different dimensions of ecosystem area, integrity and risk of collapse across all ecosystem types, and should be selected for their fitness for purpose and relevance to goal components. Science-based goals, supported by well-formulated action targets and fit-for-purpose indicators, will provide the best foundation for reversing biodiversity loss and sustaining human well-being.

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41559-021-01538-5

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2. Three experts and a politician in a sandpit – who has the real insight on climate policy in a connected society

A scientist, an economist and a lawyer take on a politician about climate action (in a sandpit).

Who wins?

It’s depends on the criticality of the sandpile.

https://sustainabilitybites.home.blog/

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3.What’s a national park and why does it matter?

With over 9 percent of NSW protected in national parks it’s easy to see how ‘national park’ has become shorthand for any protected area, or even areas of bushland, in the state. As usual, the reality is much more complicated, and there are many types of reserves and protected areas in NSW.

https://blog.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/whats-a-national-park-and-why-does-it-matter/

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4. Advancing Social Equity in and Through Marine Conservation

Though it is mandated by international law and central to conservation policy, less attention has been given to how to operationalize social equity in and through the pursuit of marine conservation. In this article, we aim to bring greater attention to this topic through reviewing how social equity can be better integrated in marine conservation policy and practice. Advancing social equity in marine conservation requires directing attention to: recognition through acknowledgment and respect for diverse peoples and perspectives; fair distribution of impacts through maximizing benefits and minimizing burdens; procedures through fostering participation in decision-making and good governance; management through championing and supporting local involvement and leadership; the environment through ensuring the efficacy of conservation actions and adequacy of management to ensure benefits to nature and people; and the structural barriers to and institutional roots of inequity in conservation.

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2021.711538/full

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5. The political effects of emergency frames in sustainability

Emergency frames are mobilized in contemporary sustainability debates, both in response to specific events and strategically. The strategic deployment of emergency frames by proponents of sustainability action aims to stimulate collective action on issues for which it is lacking. But this is contentious due to a range of possible effects. We critically review interdisciplinary social science literature to examine the political effects of emergency frames in sustainability and develop a typology of five key dimensions of variation. This pinpoints practical areas for evaluating the utility of emergency frames and builds a shared vocabulary for analysis and decision-making.

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41893-021-00749-9

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6. Fossil fuel misinformation may sideline one of the most important climate change reports ever released

This week’s landmark report on the state of the climate paints a sobering picture. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concluded that, without deep and immediate cuts to greenhouse gas emissions, the world is very likely headed for climate catastrophe. In November, world leaders will gather in Glasgow for the latest round of United Nations climate talks. It’s the most crucial round of climate negotiations since those which led to the Paris Agreement in 2015. The question is: will governments around the world now listen to the climate science? Or will misinformation campaigns backed by vested interests continue to delay action?

https://theconversation.com/fossil-fuel-misinformation-may-sideline-one-of-the-most-important-climate-change-reports-ever-released-165887

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7. Pest plants and animals cost Australia around $25 billion a year – and it will get worse

Shamefully, Australia has one of the highest extinction rates in the world. And the number one threat to our species is invasive or “alien” plants and animals. But invasive species don’t just cause extinctions and biodiversity loss – they also create a serious economic burden. Our research, published today, reveals invasive species have cost the Australian economy at least A$390 billion in the last 60 years alone. Our paper – the most detailed assessment of its type ever published in this country – also reveals feral cats are the worst invasive species in terms of total costs, followed by rabbits and fire ants.

Pest plants and animals cost Australia around $25 billion a year – and it will get worse (theconversation.com)

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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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