Dbytes #517 (30 March 2022)

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


“The best and brightest future for the parks is one where first, local traditional culture flourishes and heritage is protected and second, the Director of National Parks (DNP) is an effective manager. That requires a strong relationship between Traditional Owners and Parks Australia. There isn’t one. Parks Australia has lost the trust and confidence of the Traditional Owners.”
Senior Advisory Group on Joint Management Arrangements for Commonwealth National Parks Advice to the Minister for the Environment




In this issue of Dbytes

1. Coming of age: research shows old forests are 3 times less flammable than those just burned
2.
Off the dial – Planet Earth is showing multiple instrument warnings
3. Plastic pollution is growing relentlessly as waste management and recycling fall short, says OECD
4. The conservation impacts of ecological disturbance: Time-bound estimates of population loss and recovery for fauna affected by the 2019–2020 Australian megafires
5 New report reveals movement towards climate change and environment philanthropy
6. Alternatives to mainstream publishing within and beyond academia
7. Pronounced loss of Amazon rainforest resilience since the early 2000s

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1. Coming of age: research shows old forests are 3 times less flammable than those just burned

As coal-fired climate change makes bushfires in Australia worse, governments are ramping up hazard-reduction burning. But our new research shows the practice can actually make forests more flammable. We found over time, some forests “thin” themselves and become less likely to burn – and hazard-reduction burning disrupts this process. What does that mean as Australians face a more fiery future? Is there a smarter and more sensitive way to manage the bushfire risk?

https://theconversation.com/coming-of-age-research-shows-old-forests-are-3-times-less-flammable-than-those-just-burned-179571?

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2. Off the dial – Planet Earth is showing multiple instrument warnings

The way ahead is uncertain. The road is turning very dangerous; full of pot holes and gaping cracks. Slow down! The vehicle isn’t safe anymore.

Our political leaders, however, are in no doubt.

“She’ll be right, mate. No need for brakes!”

https://sustainabilitybites.home.blog/

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3. Plastic pollution is growing relentlessly as waste management and recycling fall short, says OECD

The world is producing twice as much plastic waste as two decades ago, with the bulk of it ending up in landfill, incinerated or leaking into the environment, and only 9% successfully recycled, according to a new OECD report.

Plastic pollution is growing relentlessly as waste management and recycling fall short, says OECD

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4. The conservation impacts of ecological disturbance: Time-bound estimates of population loss and recovery for fauna affected by the 2019–2020 Australian megafires

After environmental disasters, species with large population losses may need urgent protection to prevent extinction and support recovery. Following the 2019–2020 Australian megafires, we estimated population losses and recovery in fire-affected fauna, to inform conservation status assessments and management.

We suggest the 2019–2020 Australian megafires have worsened the conservation prospects for many species. Of the 91 taxa recommended for listing/uplisting consideration, 84 are now under formal review through national processes. Improving predictions about taxon vulnerability with empirical data on population responses, reducing the likelihood of future catastrophic events and mitigating their impacts on biodiversity, are critical.

The conservation impacts of ecological disturbance: Time‐bound estimates of population loss and recovery for fauna affected by the 2019–2020 Australian megafires – Legge – – Global Ecology and Biogeography – Wiley Online Library

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5 New report reveals movement towards climate change and environment philanthropy

A new report titled Environment and Climate Change Giving Trends 2022, produced by the Australian Environmental Grantmakers Network (AEGN), indicates that philanthropy is gearing its focus towards climate change as the climate crisis continues to intensify.

Latest News ›› Philanthropy Australia

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6. Alternatives to mainstream publishing within and beyond academia

In a forum for the 20th anniversary issue of the journal ephemera on “Pasts, presents and futures of critical publishing”, eight independent collectives discuss ways in which they challenge the status quo of knowledge creation within and beyond academia.

Alternatives to mainstream publishing within and beyond academia – Undisciplined Environments

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7. Pronounced loss of Amazon rainforest resilience since the early 2000s

New research indicates that more than three-quarters of the Amazon rainforest has been losing ‘resilience’ since the early 2000s due to changing land-use and climate change. Resilience, defined as the return rate from human-induced damage or natural disturbance such as fire or drought, is being lost faster in regions with less rainfall and in parts of the rainforest that are closer to human activity. Deforestation and climate change, via increasing dry-season length and drought frequency, may already have pushed the Amazon close to a critical threshold of rainforest dieback. Continued weakening could push the Amazon towards a tipping point, where it becomes a carbon source rather than a carbon sink. Loss of resilience has profound implications for biodiversity, carbon storage and climate change at a global scale. This phenomenon has already been recorded during two major droughts in 2005 and 2010 due to increased tree mortality.

Pronounced loss of Amazon rainforest resilience since the early 2000s | 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). 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
and you can follow me on twitter at
@davidlimesalt

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