Please keep to the path

DPoint #106 (Oct 2018) (high res pdf for printing)_Page_12_Image_0002

Building models for better decisions

Models are basic to good decision making. System models are representations of the dynamics of an ecological system, a conceptual map of how the system works. They enable us to specify our thinking on how the system responds to management. Without them in our decision frame it’s unlikely our choices will be well founded. What’s more, and just as important, without a system model the potential to learn is limited.

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A Bornean orangutan. A central pillar of the RSPO is to manage palm-oil plantations in a way that maintains and/or enhances highconservation-value species such as orangutans (which are to be monitored and protected by palm-oil growers). It is expected that there would be no loss or a reduced rate of loss of orangutan populations in RSPO-certified concessions (as compared with equivalent non-certified concessions). Unfortunately, our analysis showed no difference.  (Image by Marc Ancrenaz)

The Roundtable that brings little hope for orangutans

Sustainable certified palm oil scheme failing to achieve goals Key messages: Industrial palm-oil plantations in South East Asia have caused significant biodiversity losses and perverse social outcomes We compared plantations operated under the RSPO sustainability certification with equivalent uncertified plantations in Borneo No significant difference was found between certified and non-certified plantations for any of […]

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Billions of dollars are being spent around the world on adapting our cities to climate change. Unfortunately, most of the planning to this point does not include the specific intention of making space for biodiversity. This is a lost opportunity for conservation and the resilience of our cities. There is now considerable evidence of the many values of bringing biodiversity into our urban spaces, as well as the creation of many strategies on how it might be achieved. Pictured above is one depiction of how biodiversity might be incorporated around the urban development at Fisherman’s Bend near Melbourne. It’s part of the work being done by researchers at RMIT under the theme of Biodiversity Sensitive Urban Design. See https://iconscience.org/biodiversity-sensitive-urban-design/ for details.

Injecting biodiversity into city spaces

Cities planning to adapt to climate change should take biodiversity along for the ride Key messages: Cities are investing billions of dollars in climate change adaptation We analysed 80 city climate-adaptation plans and found that urban greening plays a key role in most adaptation strategies. This represents an enormous opportunity for biodiversity conservation. Unfortunately, our […]

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Most of the developmental impact on the Great Western Woodlands is in the form of linear infrastructure such as roads and tracks. The region is criss-crossed by around 150,000 km of them, half of which don’t appear on maps. (Photo by Keren Raiter)

Lines in the sand

Quantifying the cumulative development footprint in the Great Western Woodlands KEY MESSAGES: We digitised anthropogenic disturbances in the Great Western Woodlands to estimate the cumulative development footprint We discovered that the majority of the development footprint in the region consists of roads, tracks, and other linear infrastructure (an estimated 150,000 km exists in the region; […]

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Planning for an expanding ice-free Antarctica

Challenge and opportunity as climate change impacts the icy continent KEY MESSAGES: Antarctica is being impacted by climate change, invasive species and an expanding human footprint Ice-free areas, home to nearly all Antarctic terrestrial biodiversity, are projected to dramatically expand by 2100 with potentially severe consequences for native species There is no better time than […]

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Participants in the ‘Conservation challenges and opportunities in areas of armed conflict’ workshop. (Photo by Felipe Suarez)

Networking for conservation in Colombia

ICCB 2017 through the eyes of newbies In July, we travelled to the colourful city of Cartagena in Colombia to attend the Society for Conservation Biology’s bi-annual International Congress for Conservation Biology (ICCB) conference. “Insights for sustaining life on Earth” was the theme for this year’s conference, with an emphasis on how to better manage […]

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A typical scene in the foothill forests of Victoria. In the morning
mist this patch of woodland doesn’t look particularly fire prone but the
blackened trunks, open canopy and epicormics buds (leaves sprouting
from the main tree stem) suggest a major fire has passed through here
recently. Indeed, this image was captured some 15 months after large
wildfires seared parts of central Victoria. The foothill forests cover a
wide range of environmental conditions. How do you manage for fire in
such situations? (Photo by Steve Leonard)

Fire in the foothills

Fire regimes and environmental gradients shape the distribution of forest wildlife KEY MESSAGES: Important insights can be gained by modeling how fire regimes, not just fire events, influence biota in forests Management of fire regimes needs to be complemented by an understanding of the underlying environmental gradients and key elements of habitat structure that influence […]

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A biodiversity offset accounting system

Improving the estimation of ecological equivalence within offset exchanges Key messages: Ecologically robust, user-friendly decision support tools improve the transparency of biodiversity offsetting and assist in the decision making process We developed a disaggregated accounting model to balance biodiversity trades within a ‘no-net-loss’ framework The model improves on other models that use aggregated metrics by […]

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Using fire to promote wildlife conservation

Understanding how pyrodiversity begets biodiversity Key messages: Pyrodiversity describes the variation in the time between fires, their severity, size and patchiness New work is advancing our knowledge of the connection between pyrodiversity and biodiversity but there is a need to further develop approaches that are better tailored to local conditions All around the world fire […]

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Photo of the Ex-Mega Rice Project Area

Modelling Kalimantan’s tropical forest landscapes

Mixed policies can meet multiple expectations Key messages: We analysed the potential outcomes of 10 alternative land-use policy scenarios for a high-priority region for forest protection, restoration and rural development in Central Kalimantan All 10 policy strategies are capable of achieving all stakeholder objectives provided at least 29–37% of the landscape is conserved for biodiversity […]

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Establishing native trees on agricultural land can yield both carbon and biodiversity benefits. CSIRO
and CEED researchers have examined what policy settings will deliver the greatest returns in both.
(Photo by David Salt)

Making the most of carbon farming

Carbon AND biodiversity benefits on agricultural land Key messages: Researchers evaluated policy mechanisms for supplying carbon and biodiversity co-benefits on Australian agricultural land Uniform payments targeting carbon achieved significant carbon sequestration but negligible biodiversity co-benefits. Land-use regulation increased biodiversity co-benefits, but was inefficient in regards to carbon Discriminatory payments with land-use competition were efficient and, […]

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Ecosystem services: an idea with enormous value

And CEED is active in realising that potential The idea of ecosystem services emphasizes the benefits that nature provides – benefits that are both tangible and intangible. This, among other things, includes the production of food and clean water, the regulation of floods, the provision of recreation and scenic beauty, a connection to place, and […]

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