With climate change now posing a clear and present danger all around the planet, scientists are calling for more intelligence in the decisions we make about how we adapt, especially in relation to our ecosystems. In many cases, leaving these ecosystems intact would be the smartest and most cost-effective insurance policy we could have. That’s […]
Intact ecosystems provide best defence against climate change
When attempting to build collaborations to meet an environmental challenge, is it better to allow them to develop by themselves (bottom-up efforts at self-organisation) or should they be designed ‘top-down’ by the powers that be (ie, government departments and so forth) in order to be ‘fit for purpose’ and efficient? New research from CEED researcher […]
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 […]
Seabirds are arguably the most threatened group of birds on the planet and conservation scientists all around the planet are working to understand how we can better protect this group of animals. Many studies involve tracking the movements of these highly mobile birds using a suite of tracking technology (telemetry). CEED recently joined forces with […]
How can research on social networks be best applied to natural resource management? This was the focus of a recent CEED workshop in Brisbane that brought together researchers from around Australia and across the world. Social networks consist of people – such as land holders, managers, government officials and organisations– and the relationships and exchanges […]
One of legacies of CEED is the network of people it brings together. Here are a few of the faces of that network, the people behind the stories in this issue of Decision Point. Elisa Bayraktarov & Megan Saunders Elisa’s research interests are in the effects of global and local threats on endangered ecosystems and […]
The 3rd International Workshop in Advancing Conservation Planning in the Mediterranean Sea Back in 2012, a group of conservation researchers led by CEED scientists established a series of workshops that aimed to bring together scientists and managers working on conservation planning in the Mediterranean Sea (one of most human-impacted and jurisdictionally complex seas in the […]
Movement behaviour mediates the impacts of habitat fragmentation at multiple scales KEY MESSAGES Different scales of fragmentation have lethal consequences for animals with certain movement traits For at-risk species, the impact of fine-scale fragmentation was accentuated when fragmentation also occurred at the coarse scale The land use to target with conservation actions to reduce fragmentation […]
Targets such as a species’ minimum viable population size or the optimum proportion of land that should be protected (Decision point #83) are important for translating the complexities of biodiversity conservation into clear, generalizable rules. However, setting the same high-aspirational target across different species and landscapes may not be very efficient. To begin with, it is unlikely that different species will respond in exactly the same way to the same conservation target. This could result in unequal levels of protection, and eventually lead to an overestimation in the amount of conservation actually achieved.
The expansion of the world’s protected area network is often held up as a measure of global progress towards effective biodiversity conservation. However, having more protected areas does not necessarily mean better biodiversity outcomes. In the past, two main approaches have been used to identify priority sites for biodiversity conservation: one based on thresholds, the other on complementarity. We recently combined both approaches to guide conservation planning.
The case of the grey-crowned babbler KEY MESSAGES Understanding the value of restoration requires measuring change through time Measure response variables that are meaningful Counterfactuals are necessary: Compared to what? Many resources are spent on restoring habitat to counter the impacts of land clearing and habitat degradation on wildlife populations. But individual projects involving restoration […]
Clearly explaining our reasoning in writing is something most of us find difficult, and we don’t always achieve the effect we were after. Fortunately, there is a technique which can help. It’s called argument mapping. This usually involves creating simple ‘maps’ or diagrams of your reasoning. However the essence of argument mapping is really just applying simple, timeless principles to organising arguments and evidence.
Automated model-based algorithms compete against humans in conservation games KEY MESSAGES Computer games allow us to compare human-based decisions against model-based decisions On average the ‘robots’ made better decisions than humans using intuition There is real value in the greater use of quantitative methods in environmental management Given all the real world complexities involved when […]
For the past eight years or so, a group of people from around the world have been convening in Madingley Hall at Cambridge University to consider what the future might look like for global conservation. The 20 or so participants include professional horizon scanners, a journalist, and experts from a wide range of disciplines relevant to conservation science (such as ecology, biosecurity, public health, social science and technology studies).
Counting the costs and assessing the feasibility KEY MESSAGES We examined the cost and feasibility of restoration in marine coastal ecosystems The median price was around US$80,000 per hectare, the average price was up at US$1,600,000 per hectare Feasibility ranged from 38% for seagrass, to 65% for coral reefs and saltmarshes Coasts are popular areas […]
In this bumper issue* of Decision Point we explore a wide range of topics surrounding good environmental decision making – from the many trade-offs we need to consider when making a good decision to the ingredients that go into a good decision-making process.