Dbytes #503 (24 November 2021)

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

“Biodiversity risk should be tackled with the same level of urgency, ambition and momentum as climate change. Biodiversity loss is accelerating, and this creates material risks and opportunities for investors based on companies’ dependencies and impacts on biodiversity.”
Louise Davidson, CEO, Australian Council of Superannuation Investors [see item6]


In this issue of Dbytes

1. Australia’s native wildlife in grip of unprecedented attack
2. The Global Fishing Index 2021
3. The COVID-19 pandemic is intricately linked to biodiversity loss and ecosystem health
4. Deforestation can raise local temperatures by up to 4.5
– and heat untouched areas 6km away
5. ‘Fire regimes that cause biodiversity decline’ as a key threatening process – Comment on listing assessment
6. Climate lessons help investors tackle biodiversity loss
7. And for my next environmental trick …

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1. Australia’s native wildlife in grip of unprecedented attack

Australia is in the grip of an unprecedented alien attack on its native wildlife and environment, with experts warning more of our unique flora and fauna is in danger of disappearing by 2050 unless urgent action is taken.

A new report, ‘Fighting plagues and predators Australia’s path to a pest and weed-free future’, released today, reveals the environment is facing a “sliding doors” moment, with two possible futures for Australia, depending on the decisions made today.

Australia’s native wildlife in grip of unprecedented attack – CSIRO

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2. The Global Fishing Index 2021

-49% of assessed stocks are overfished, with nearly 1 in 10 stocks on the brink of collapse
-over half of the global fisheries catch lacks sufficient data to determine their status

20211120-global-fishing-index-2021-report.pdf (minderoo.org)

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3. The COVID-19 pandemic is intricately linked to biodiversity loss and ecosystem health

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, caused by zoonotic SARS-CoV-2, has important links to biodiversity loss and ecosystem health. These links range from anthropogenic activities driving zoonotic disease emergence and extend to the pandemic affecting biodiversity conservation, environmental policy, ecosystem services, and multiple conservation facets. Crucially, such effects can exacerbate the initial drivers, resulting in feedback loops that are likely to promote future zoonotic disease outbreaks. We explore these feedback loops and relationships, highlighting known and potential zoonotic disease emergence drivers (eg, land-use change, intensive livestock production, wildlife trade, and climate change), and discuss direct and indirect effects of the ongoing pandemic on biodiversity loss and ecosystem health. We stress that responses to COVID-19 must include actions aimed at safeguarding biodiversity and ecosystems, in order to avoid future emergence of zoonoses and prevent their wide-ranging effects on human health, economies, and society. Such responses would benefit from adopting a One Health approach, enhancing cross-sector, transboundary communication, as well as from collaboration among multiple actors, promoting planetary and human health.

The COVID-19 pandemic is intricately linked to biodiversity loss and ecosystem health – ScienceDirect

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4. Deforestation can raise local temperatures by up to 4.5– and heat untouched areas 6km away

Forests directly cool the planet, like natural evaporative air conditioners. So what happens when you cut them down? In tropical countries such as Indonesia, Brazil and the Congo, rapid deforestation may have accounted for up to 75% of the observed surface warming between 1950 and 2010. Our new research took a closer look at this phenomenon.

Deforestation can raise local temperatures by up to 4.5℃ – and heat untouched areas 6km away (theconversation.com)

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5. ‘Fire regimes that cause biodiversity decline’ as a key threatening process – Comment on listing assessment

You are invited to provide your views and supporting reasons on the eligibility of ‘Fire regimes that cause biodiversity decline’ for inclusion on the list of key threatening processes under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and whether if listed, a threat abatement plan is a feasible, effective and efficient way of abating the process. Responses are required to be submitted by 10 January 2022

‘Fire regimes that cause biodiversity decline’ as a key threatening process – DAWE

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6. Climate lessons help investors tackle biodiversity loss

Biodiversity loss will wipe up to A$27 billioni from the Australian economy annually by 2050 based on current estimates. It presents a material financial risk to investors and companies unless they seize opportunities to protect Australia’s natural systems. A new report commissioned by the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI), Biodiversity: unlocking natural capital value for Australian Investors, sets out how biodiversity loss presents physical, transition and systemic risks to businesses.

The report, authored by EY Australia, summarises critical biodiversity related financial risks for investors, emerging tools and frameworks for investment analysis, current industry and company disclosures and sets out a five-point investor action plan for tackling biodiversity.

Climate lessons help investors tackle biodiversity loss | ACSI

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7. And for my next environmental trick …

Will the federal government engage in real environmental reform with the EPBC Act before the election?

While, on paper, there’s a timeline for substantive environmental reforms to come later, in reality, nothing happens until Parliament passes the necessary legislation.

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. ‘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). Dbytes is supported by the Global Water Forum.

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.

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David Salt
follow me on twitter at
@davidlimesalt

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