Dbytes #504 (1 December 2021)

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

“a common thread that emerges across the reviewed literature [on why climate mitigation is proving ineffective] is the central role of power, manifest in many forms, from a dogmatic political-economic hegemony and influential vested interests to narrow techno-economic mindsets and ideologies of control.”
Stoddard et al, see item 3


In this issue of Dbytes

1. Urban resilience for local government: concepts, definitions and qualities
2. Leaving habitats unburnt for longer could help save little mammals in northern Australia
3. Three Decades of Climate Mitigation: Why Haven’t We Bent the Global Emissions Curve?
4. Five big ideas: how Australia can tackle climate change while restoring nature, culture and communities
5. The slippery slopes of failed environmental governance: Who accounts for the regulators?
6. ‘Lawless’ loggers
7. Revealed: the places humanity must not destroy to avoid climate chaos

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1. Urban resilience for local government: concepts, definitions and qualities

Resilience-building focuses on processes and approaches to designing, delivering and evaluating urban systems and programs, to ensure sustainable cities can persist, adapt and transform in the face of growing ecological, economic and social uncertainty. A framework for urban resilience consisting of the definition, characteristics and qualities provides the basis for implementing resilience across local government policy, projects and operations, and in partnership with communities and stakeholders.

apo-nid315253.pdf

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2. Leaving habitats unburnt for longer could help save little mammals in northern Australia

Native small mammals such as bandicoots, tree-rats and possums have been in dire decline across Northern Australia’s vast savannas for the last 30 years – and we’ve only just begun to understand why. Feral cats, livestock, wildfires, and the complex ways these threats interact, have all played a crucial role. But, until now, scientists have struggled to pinpoint which factor was the biggest threat. Our new research points to fire.

https://theconversation.com/photos-from-the-field-leaving-habitats-unburnt-for-longer-could-help-save-little-mammals-in-northern-australia-171500

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3. Three Decades of Climate Mitigation: Why Haven’t We Bent the Global Emissions Curve?

Despite three decades of political efforts and a wealth of research on the causes and catastrophic impacts of climate change, global carbon dioxide emissions have continued to rise and are 60% higher today than they were in 1990. Exploring this rise through nine thematic lenses—covering issues of climate governance, the fossil fuel industry, geopolitics, economics, mitigation modeling, energy systems, inequity, lifestyles, and social imaginaries—draws out multifaceted reasons for our collective failure to bend the global emissions curve. However, a common thread that emerges across the reviewed literature is the central role of power, manifest in many forms, from a dog[1]matic political-economic hegemony and influential vested interests to narrow techno-economic mindsets and ideologies of control. Synthesizing the various impediments to mitigation reveals how delivering on the commitments enshrined in the Paris Agreement now requires an urgent and unprecedented transformation away from today’s carbon- and energy-intensive development paradigm.

Three Decades of Climate Mitigation: Why Haven’t We Bent the Global Emissions Curve? (annualreviews.org)

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4. Five big ideas: how Australia can tackle climate change while restoring nature, culture and communities

Australia’s plan to reach net zero emissions by 2050 relies heavily on unproven technologies to sequester carbon from the atmosphere, among other things. But we already have solutions based in restoring nature and Country. In fact, nature-based solutions can deliver one third of promised global cuts in emissions. Our new report, which brings together expertise from across Australia, reveals how we can make this happen using proven approaches.

https://theconversation.com/5-big-ideas-how-australia-can-tackle-climate-change-while-restoring-nature-culture-and-communities-172156

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5. The slippery slopes of failed environmental governance: Who accounts for the regulators?

With the best will in the world, it’s not enough to believe our environmental regulators can be left alone, out of sight, to get on with the job. Their accountability, transparency and capacity to operate at arm’s length from companies they regulate all need to be constantly reviewed and tested.

https://sustainabilitybites.home.blog/

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6. ‘Lawless’ loggers

Water from the Thomson catchment doesn’t require intensive, man-made filtering. And it’s one reason why laws exist to regulate logging on these steep mountain-sides, so that the water remains clean and uncontaminated. However, high-resolution spatial data and information obtained as part of an ABC investigation have sparked allegations that the timber corporation, VicForests, is putting this vital process at risk through widespread and systemic illegal logging of the region’s steepest slopes.

ABC News

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7. Revealed: the places humanity must not destroy to avoid climate chaos

Tiny proportion of world’s land surface hosts carbon-rich forests and peatlands that would not recover before 2050 if lost

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/nov/18/revealed-the-places-humanity-must-not-destroy-to-avoid-climate-chaos

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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
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@davidlimesalt

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