Achieving better outcomes from environmental policy is more than just good science Key messages: Decision science is only one of many factors that may be relevant in the environmental-policy process. Decision science has enormous potential to make policies more effective at delivering outcomes that are highly valued by the community. There are a number of […]
Decision science and environmental policy
How we can better integrate decision triggers into management Managing natural environments involves making difficult decisions about when to intervene to prevent undesirable changes. Intervening too early may result in unnecessary management actions, while intervening too late may lead to much greater costs or irreversible outcomes. ‘Decision triggers’ is one approach that can be useful […]
Helping decision makers frame, analyze, and implement decisions Key messages: 1. All decisions have the same recognizable elements. Context, objectives, alternatives, consequences, and deliberation. Decision makers and analysts familiar with these elements can quickly see the underlying structure of a decision. 2. There are only a small number of classes of decisions. These classes differ […]
A simple Cost-Effective Resource Allocator Key messages: Decision scientists working with national park managers have developed a user-friendly Cost-Effective Resource Allocator The allocator prioritises the set of management strategies that maximise the total number of years that a suite of species is expected to persist given a constrained budget The allocator uses a series of […]
Good decisions for the environment need an eye on the longer term Key messages: Long-term monitoring provides essential evidence on which to base good environmental decisions Good design is essential for effective long-term monitoring Things change over time; to remain effective, long-term monitoring needs to adapt around these changes Partnerships are crucial for ensuring long-term […]
Fire management for asset protection and the environment Reducing fuel around assets is considered a good hazard-reduction strategy, however, a more effective approach may be to burn for a mosaic throughout the ecosystem. This may reduce the overall fuel of the system, as well has have added benefits for the environment. Land managers and scientists […]
Ethics and environmental decision science When researchers hear the word ‘ethics’ they often groan. That’s because the term usually arises in connection to ethics committees; panels which university-based scientists need to go through to get permission to undertake research. They ‘groan’ because it’s another transaction cost on getting their research done. Having said that, every […]
Earlier this year CEED’s Chief Investigators came together at O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat (Lamington National Park, Qld, CIs are pictured) to reflect on CEED’s impact on the world of environmental decision science and to plan a ‘book of lessons’ emerging out of our research. CEED didn’t invent decision science but, through its research and tool development, […]
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 […]
One of the world’s leading restoration ecologists has questioned the way we use the term ‘degraded’. According to CEED Chief Investigator Professor Richard Hobbs this is far more than simple semantics. How we assess whether a system is degraded has major implications for whether restoration is required. In a paper just published in Restoration Ecology, […]
CEED recently joined forces with CSIRO and the Belmont Forum project ‘ScenNet’ to explore ways that scenarios and models could be better used in setting and implementing conservation policy at national to global scales. (ScenNet is a global collaboration of researchers working on scenarios and models to support conservation assessment and decisions.) Developing environmental policy […]
Good environmental decision making is information-intensive. Environmental managers invest a lot in monitoring and research to collect information, but often take a rough-and-ready approach to combining that information into a form that is useful for decision making. Does this matter? Does it make a difference to environmental outcomes to use a theoretically sound decision metric, compared with a weak decision metric? That was the question we set out to answer by comparing environmental outcomes generated by these two approaches.
What we found, in short, was that it does matter which decision metric you use. Indeed, it can make an enormous difference. As a consequence, many decision metrics used by environmental managers result in us missing out on very large environmental benefits.