Long-term readers of Decision Point would know that, over the years, Hugh Possingham has floated some excellent and sometimes off-the-wall conservation ideas in his editorials. Some of them have been eminently do-able and grounded, others have been fantastic and controversial. All of them have been provocative and stimulating. Here are my top three:
The Biodiversity Endowment Trust
The Federal Government places $200 million dollars in a trust for every one of the 56 NRM regions. That trust fund is an endowment releasing about 4% per annum to the regional body. We create a composite biodiversity index for each region that is set to a value of 100. Every five years the biodiversity accounting office provides another composite biodiversity index and according to these outcomes the amount of funds released to NRM regions is adjusted…
Threatened Species Lotto
Every year the Minister for the Environment draws out ten coloured balls. On each ball is the name of a threatened species. To each ball (species) one million dollars is allocated. If you are the lucky owner of a property on which that species lives, you will be given a fraction of the million dollars in proportion to the number of individuals of the species that you have so carefully nurtured…
The Acoustic Environmental Accounts
Establish a network of acoustic monitoring boxes across the continent. Let’s say two boxes per bioregion/vegetation structure combination. Each box records an hour of sound four times a day, one day a week: the first at dawn, at dusk, an hour after dusk and an hour in the middle of the night. Over the years we would be able to cost-effectively detect changes in the abundance (based on calling rate) of hundreds of species (bats, birds and frogs) across the entire continent. It would be the first long-term continent-wide survey of any group of fauna in Australia.