Dbytes #533 (20 July 2022)

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


“Most of Australia is likely to burn even more. That’s bad news for places such as Australia’s ancient Gondwana rainforests. Historically, these have rarely, if ever, burned. Yet more than 50% was impacted in the 2019-2020 fires.”
Ayesha Tulloch [see item 3]

In this issue of Dbytes

1. Assessment Report on the Diverse Values and Valuation of Nature
2. This is Australia’s most important report on the environment’s deteriorating health. We present its grim findings
3. ‘That patch of bush is gone, and so are the birds’: a scientist reacts to the State of the Environment report
4. Australia’s central climate policy pays people to grow trees that already existed. Taxpayers – and the environment – deserve better
5. The public’s valuation of threatened species protection
6. Scientific evidence on the political impact of the Sustainable Development Goals
7. Thinking resilience – navigating a complex world

-~<>~-

1. Assessment Report on the Diverse Values and Valuation of Nature

The report found a dominant global focus on short-term profits and economic growth, often excluding consideration of multiple values of nature in policy decisions. Although often privileged in decision-making, this focus does not adequately reflect the way that changes in nature affect people’s quality of life. The assessment report identifies four actions that can create the conditions for the transformative change needed to address the global biodiversity crisis and achieve a more sustainable and just future:
-recognising the diverse values of nature
-embedding values into decision-making
-reforming policies and regulations to internalise nature’s values, and
-shifting societal goals to align with global sustainability and justice objectives.
The report also presents a novel typology of nature’s values, to guide decision-makers on understanding the diverse way people relate to and value nature. This comprises nature’s capacity to provide resources; the intrinsic values of other species in nature; the importance of nature as the setting for people’s sense of place and identify; and nature as a physical, mental and spiritual part of oneself.

https://zenodo.org/record/6813144#.YtX0lXZBxPY

-~<>~-

2. This is Australia’s most important report on the environment’s deteriorating health. We present its grim findings

This report goes further than its predecessors, by describing how our environment is affecting the health and well-being of Australians. It is also the first to include Indigenous co-authors. As chief authors of the report, we present its key findings here. They include new chapters dedicated to extreme events and Indigenous voices.

https://theconversation.com/this-is-australias-most-important-report-on-the-environments-deteriorating-health-we-present-its-grim-findings-186131?

-~<>~-

3. ‘That patch of bush is gone, and so are the birds’: a scientist reacts to the State of the Environment report

Ayesha Tulloch: Australia’s State of the Environment Report was finally released today – and its findings are a staggering picture of loss and devastation. As a conservation scientist, I’ve spent the last decade helping governments, community groups and individuals better manage our environment. But the report reveals things are getting worse. I’m disappointed, but not surprised. I’ve seen firsthand the devastation wrought by threats such as bushfires and land clearing. I remain hopeful we can turn the crisis around. But it will take money, government commitment and public support to protect and recover our precious natural places.

https://theconversation.com/that-patch-of-bush-is-gone-and-so-are-the-birds-a-scientist-reacts-to-the-state-of-the-environment-report-186135?

-~<>~-

4. Australia’s central climate policy pays people to grow trees that already existed. Taxpayers – and the environment – deserve better

The federal government has launched an independent review of Australia’s central climate policy, the Emissions Reduction Fund, after we and others raised serious concerns about its integrity. The review will examine, among other issues, whether several ways of earning credits under the scheme lead to genuine emissions reductions. One method singled out for scrutiny involves regrowing native forests to store carbon from the atmosphere. Our new analysis suggests the vast majority of carbon storage credited under this method either has not occurred, or would have occurred anyway. Here we explain why.

Australia’s central climate policy pays people to grow trees that already existed. Taxpayers – and the environment – deserve better (theconversation.com)

-~<>~-

5. The public’s valuation of threatened species protection

In a new study, we estimate the Australian public’s willingness to pay for protection of a variety of threatened animal species. We conducted a survey to elicit the value of 12 threatened Australian animal species which were selected, in consultation with Australian government conservation agency managers, to provide a diversity of life forms and appearance. They included: four bird species (Orange-bellied Parrot, Far Eastern Curlew, Australasian Bittern and Eastern Bristlebird), two fish (Shaw Galaxias and Murray Cod), two invertebrates (Boggomoss Snail and Giant Freshwater Crayfish), two mammals (Brush-tailed Rabbit-rat and Numbat) and two reptiles (Gulbaru Gecko and Great Desert Skink).

380. The public’s valuation of threatened species protection – Pannell Discussions

-~<>~-

6. Scientific evidence on the political impact of the Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, the United Nations agreed on 17 Sustainable Development Goals as the central normative framework for sustainable development worldwide. The effectiveness of governing by such broad global goals, however, remains uncertain, and we lack comprehensive meta-studies that assess the political impact of the goals across countries and globally. We present here condensed evidence from an analysis of over 3,000 scientific studies on the Sustainable Development Goals published between 2016 and April 2021. Our findings suggests that the goals have had some political impact on institutions and policies, from local to global governance. This impact has been largely discursive, affecting the way actors understand and communicate about sustainable development. More profound normative and institutional impact, from legislative action to changing resource allocation, remains rare. We conclude that the scientific evidence suggests only limited transformative political impact of the Sustainable Development Goals thus far.

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41893-022-00909-5

-~<>~-

7. Thinking resilience – navigating a complex world

One way of better appreciating the complexity around us and navigating a way through lies in the area of resilience thinking. Resilience thinking is the capacity to envisage your system as a self-organising system with thresholds, linked domains and cycles. When you begin engaging with ideas relating to a system’s resilience, you begin to appreciate the world in a different way. Some of those insights include that no-one is in control, there’s no such thing as an optimal state and you can’t understand a system by understanding the components that make it up.

https://sustainabilitybites.home.blog/2022/07/20/thinking-resilience-navigating-a-complex-world/

-~<>~-

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.

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.
Or you could subscribe to the WordPress version by visiting https://ozdbytes.wordpress.com/ and press the follow button.

David Salt
and you can follow me on twitter at
@davidlimesalt

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s