On threat and service

Two themes dominate many of the stories in this issue of Decision Point: managing conservation threats and accounting for ecosystem services. While these are quite different topics, underlying both of them in this set of articles is a plea to look at the bigger picture. What is the context of the threat or the ecosystem service being studied and managed?

The Tulloch twins (Viv and Ayesha) get the ball rolling in a discussion about threat maps and the danger of considering a threat in isolation of other threats. Focussing on a single threat is usually inadequate and wasteful. Focus on the fox, for example, and you risk a bigger problem with rabbit numbers exploding.

Nancy Auerbach continues on this topic looking at interactions between management actions for different threats. Accounting for these interactions helps with the setting of effective conservation priorities. And she discusses how this might play out in the Burnett-Mary NRM Region.

Ecosystem services is another lens we use to set conservation priorities. It’s an idea that’s been floating around for a while now being advocated by many institutions including the MA, CBD, TEEB and IPBES (while I’m sure you know what these letters mean, we spell them out in this issue). However, Maria Martinez- Harms and Kerrie Wilson looked at the literature on ecosystem services and found most of the assessments done so far were poor at involving stakeholders and developing user-related measures of the delivery of ecosystem services.

And Matthew Mitchell looks at the connection between landscape fragmentation and ecosystem services. He proposes a framework based on the supply, flow and provision of ecosystem services, and suggests this might be a good way to engage with the process of fragmentation.

And who are all these people I’ve just mentioned? They are part of CEED’s intellectual muscle and in a new section (About CEED) we introduce you to them. How’s that for service?

David Salt Editor, Decision Point

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