Dbytes #535 (3 August 2022)

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


“On nearly every measure of biodiversity, Australia is in poor shape and going backwards.”
Minister for the Environment and Water Tanya Plibersek,
address to the National Biodiversity Conference address

In this issue of Dbytes

1. New Practice Guide: Nature-Based Solutions Must Play a Crucial Role in Asia-Pacific Economic Development
2. Nature Loss and Sovereign Credit Ratings
3. Nature’s deteriorating health is threatening the wellbeing of Australians, the State of the Environment report finds
4. How we will fight climate change
5. How scientists are working for greater inclusion of Indigenous knowledge
6. The myth of the optimal state: adaptive cycles and the birth of resilience thinking
7. Scientists discover cause of catastrophic mangrove destruction in Gulf of Carpentaria

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1. New Practice Guide: Nature-Based Solutions Must Play a Crucial Role in Asia-Pacific Economic Development

This  Practitioner’s Guide takes a process-based approach to a longstanding problem: how do we ensure that innovative green and traditional gray project investments can be compared effectively and fairly? based on cost, performance and longevity?

https://www.alliance4water.org/blog-posts/new-practice-guide-nature-based-solutions-crucial-role-asia-pacific-economic-development

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2. Nature Loss and Sovereign Credit Ratings

Biodiversity loss, decline of ecosystem services, and overall environmental degradation can hit economies through multiple channels. The combined macroeconomic consequences can impact sovereign creditworthiness. Yet, the methodologies published and applied by leading credit rating agencies (CRAs) do not explicitly incorporate biodiversity and nature-related risks. Omitting them may ultimately undermine market stability. As environmental pressures intensify, the gap between the information conveyed by ratings and real-world risk exposure may grow. A consistent approach to integrating nature- and biodiversity related risks into debt markets is long overdue. This report models the effect of nature loss on credit ratings, default probabilities, and the cost of borrowing. The results have implications for stakeholders including credit rating agencies, investors, and sovereigns themselves.

https://www.bennettinstitute.cam.ac.uk/publications/biodiversity-loss-sovereign-credit-ratings/

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3. Nature’s deteriorating health is threatening the wellbeing of Australians, the State of the Environment report finds

For the first time, the new State of the Environment report explicitly assessed the dependency of humans on nature. We, as report authors, evaluated trends and changes in the environment’s health for their impact on human society. This is described in terms of “human wellbeing”. Wellbeing encompasses people’s life quality and satisfaction, and is increasingly being recognised in national policy. It spans our physical and mental health, living standards, sense of community, our safety, freedom and rights, cultural and spiritual fulfilment, and connection to Country.

Nature’s deteriorating health is threatening the wellbeing of Australians, the State of the Environment report finds (theconversation.com)

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4. How we will fight climate change
And how we will not fight climate change.

It is now time to conclude that the “scare people into making a big push” strategy that climate activists and leftists have been using over the last few years has decisively, utterly failed. People ought to be scared. They ought to support a big push. But this is simply a thing that is not going to happen in the time frame we need it to happen.

How we will fight climate change – by Noah Smith (substack.com)

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5. How scientists are working for greater inclusion of Indigenous knowledge

When the second part of the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report was published earlier this year, it had a notable inclusion. The instalment, which focused on the human and ecological impacts of climate change, featured Indigenous knowledge alongside Western scientific research for the first time. The Australasian chapter, however, did not include any Indigenous lead authors. Instead, three First Nations scholars were invited to contribute to specific sections of the report through the goodwill of the lead authors, rather than through government selection. It was a reminder, the contributors wrote in March, of how “Indigenous Australians have been largely excluded from climate change decisionmaking”.

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2022/jul/31/how-scientists-are-working-for-greater-inclusion-of-indigenous-knowledge?

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6. The myth of the optimal state: adaptive cycles and the birth of resilience thinking

The key to sustainability is a systems capacity to recover after a disturbance, not the ability to hold it in a notional optimal state. Complex systems are constantly moving through adaptive cycles of rapid growth, conservation, release and reorganisation. You can’t ‘hold’ it in one condition of ‘optimal sustainable yield’ because the system continually self organises. The myth of the optimal state stems from our mistaken belief that we are in control and the systems we are managing are simple systems.

https://sustainabilitybites.home.blog/2022/08/02/the-myth-of-the-optimal-state-adaptive-cycles-and-the-birth-of-resilience-thinking/

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7. Scientists discover cause of catastrophic mangrove destruction in Gulf of Carpentaria

Low sea levels caused by severe El Niño events are thought to have caused the mass mangrove deaths. Scientists say it is likely too late for the mangroves to recover. A $30 million fishing industry is expected to be impacted.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-08-02/mangrove-dieback-gulf-of-carpentaria-scientists-find-cause/101290968

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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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