Urban biodiversity

Participants of the Urban Biodiversity workshop

Participants of the Urban Biodiversity workshop

Our urban environments present unique challenges for biodiversity conservation. Tradeoffs between competing objectives are complex and vested interests high. Past planning decisions often leave lasting ecological and social legacies. Despite decades of research, key knowledge gaps remain around the processes that drive patterns of biodiversity and how they interact with social systems. Novel and sophisticated approaches are required to conserve biodiversity in urban systems.

In late 2013, representatives from NERP ED and the Department of the Environment took part in a workshop on urban biodiversity conservation and management. The workshop aimed to identify key objectives for urban biodiversity conservation in Australia, and investigate the role of decision science and new research approaches in this area.

Researchers considered questions such as: What are key research questions for urban biodiversity in Australia now and in the future? How do we make decisions about conservation actions in highly modified landscapes? What are appropriate objectives for urban biodiversity, and how can we measure conservation success in cities? Do current policies reflect these objectives?

The workshop was extremely productive and enjoyable – an amazing number of new ideas and research questions were raised and investigated, and the staff at the Carrington Inn in Bungendore (NSW) looked after us very well. Several papers are in the pipeline, so watch this space!!

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