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Cronin T.,WWF Australia | Cronin T.,The Center for International Forestry Research | Santoso L.,The Center for International Forestry Research | Di Gregorio M.,The Center for International Forestry Research | And 4 more authors.
Climatic Change | Year: 2015

This paper investigates policy actors’ positions on reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) expressed in Indonesian media, and shows how these policy debates have evolved between 2007 and 2012. Results indicate media debates have moved beyond early, buoyant consensus on REDD+ as a win-win solution for economic growth and environmental conservation, to clearly acknowledge the need for institutional and governance reform. Several shifts in the frequency and nature of REDD+ discourse around 2010 – including from an international to a national level focus and an increase in the level of optimism – suggests the 2010 Letter of Intent between Indonesia and Norway has the potential to be a significant driver of change. Results also indicate that translating political will into measurable performance at a local or jurisdictional level is likely to require a broader appreciation of the complex interests, expectations and implications associated with the necessary reforms, and stronger engagement with key actor groups whose vested interests go beyond REDD+ itself. We observe an apparent desire on the part of Indonesian national authorities to have their cake and eat it too; that is, to keep their forest and clear it too. © 2015 The Author(s) Source

King J.,WWF Australia | Alexander F.,James Cook University | Brodie J.,James Cook University
Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment | Year: 2013

Globally coral reefs are at threat from land-sourced pollution. In Australia it is well established that the largest reef system in the world, the Great Barrier Reef, has been seriously damaged by land-sourced pollution primarily from agricultural activities. The Great Barrier Reef is Australia's best documented case of contamination of an ecosystem by pesticides. We describe Australia's current regulatory arrangements for managing pesticide risks to the environment at both national and state level and evaluate the regulatory response to pesticide pollution of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) and its catchments as a case study. It is argued that the relatively advanced state of knowledge about the problem and the Great Barrier Reef's World Heritage status means that it presents the best case scenario for Australia's ability to respond to pesticide risks to the environment. Yet the only regulatory action taken to date - restricted conditions of use for particular chemical products introduced by the Queensland Government - has occurred outside of the dedicated regulatory regime for managing pesticide risks. Other lower profile and less-studied Australian water bodies are likely to be even less protected. The ad hoc, case-by-case and very slow chemical review process administered by Australia's national pesticide regulator has not effectively assessed or addressed chemical risks to the GBR. Some failures of the current system would be addressed by a systematic re-registration program of the kind in place in the European Union and United States. We conclude that to adequately protect the GBR, given its marine protected area and World Heritage status, both the special management provisions for the area already existing plus an effective national pesticide regulatory regime of the standard of the European Union are the minimum requirements. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. Source

Shoo L.P.,James Cook University | Shoo L.P.,University of Queensland | Hoffmann A.A.,University of Melbourne | Garnett S.,Charles Darwin University | And 8 more authors.
Climatic Change | Year: 2013

Severe impacts on biodiversity are predicted to arise from climate change. These impacts may not be adequately addressed by conventional approaches to conservation. As a result, additional management actions are now being considered. However, there is currently limited guidance to help decision makers choose which set of actions (and in what order) is most appropriate for species that are considered to be vulnerable. Here, we provide a decision framework for the full complement of actions aimed at conserving species under climate change from ongoing conservation in existing refugia through various forms of mobility enhancement to ex situ conservation outside the natural environment. We explicitly recognize that allocation of conservation resources toward particular actions may be governed by factors such as the likelihood of success, cost and likely co-benefits to non-target species in addition to perceived vulnerability of individual species. As such, we use expert judgment of probable tradeoffs in resource allocation to inform the sequential evaluation of proposed management interventions. © 2013 The Author(s). Source

Watson J.E.,University of Queensland | Evans M.C.,University of Queensland | Carwardine J.,University of Queensland | Carwardine J.,CSIRO | And 8 more authors.
Conservation Biology | Year: 2011

The acquisition or designation of new protected areas is usually based on criteria for representation of different ecosystems or land-cover classes, and it is unclear how well-threatened species are conserved within protected-area networks. Here, we assessed how Australia's terrestrial protected-area system (89 million ha, 11.6% of the continent) overlaps with the geographic distributions of threatened species and compared this overlap against a model that randomly placed protected areas across the continent and a spatially efficient model that placed protected areas across the continent to maximize threatened species' representation within the protected-area estate. We defined the minimum area needed to conserve each species on the basis of the species' range size. We found that although the current configuration of protected areas met targets for representation of a given percentage of species' ranges better than a random selection of areas, 166 (12.6%) threatened species occurred entirely outside protected areas and target levels of protection were met for only 259 (19.6%) species. Critically endangered species were among those with the least protection; 12 (21.1%) species occurred entirely outside protected areas. Reptiles and plants were the most poorly represented taxonomic groups, and amphibians the best represented. Spatial prioritization analyses revealed that an efficient protected-area system of the same size as the current protected-area system (11.6% of the area of Australia) could meet representation targets for 1272 (93.3%) threatened species. Moreover, the results of these prioritization analyses showed that by protecting 17.8% of Australia, all threatened species could reach target levels of representation, assuming all current protected areas are retained. Although this amount of area theoretically could be protected, existing land uses and the finite resources available for conservation mean land acquisition may not be possible or even effective for the recovery of threatened species. The optimal use of resources must balance acquisition of new protected areas, where processes that threaten native species are mitigated by the change in ownership or on-ground management jurisdiction, and management of threatened species inside and outside the existing protected-area system. ©2010 Society for Conservation Biology. Source

Taylor M.F.J.,WWF Australia | Sattler P.S.,68 Sanctuary Drive | Evans M.,University of Queensland | Fuller R.A.,University of Queensland | And 3 more authors.
Biodiversity and Conservation | Year: 2011

Despite the growing numbers of threatened species and high levels of spending on their recovery worldwide, there is surprisingly little evidence about which conservation approaches are effective in arresting or reversing threatened species declines. Using two government data sets, we examined associations between population trends for 841 nationally-threatened terrestrial species in Australia, and four measures of conservation effort: (a) how much their distribution overlaps with strictly protected areas (IUCN I-IV), (b) and other protected areas (IUCN V-VI), (c) the number of recovery activities directed at the species, and (d) numbers of natural resource conservation activities applied in areas where populations of the threatened species occur. We found that all populations of 606 (72%) species were in decline. Species with greater distributional overlap with strictly protected areas had proportionately more populations that were increasing or stable. This effect was robust to geographic range size, data quality differences and extent of protection. Measures other than strictly protected areas showed no positive associations with stable or increasing trends. Indeed, species from regions with more natural resource conservation activities were found to be more likely to be declining, consistent with differential targeting of such generalised conservation activities to highly disturbed landscapes. Major differences in trends were also found among the different jurisdictions in which species predominantly occurred, which may be related to different legislative protections against habitat destruction. Although we were not able to test causation, this research corroborates other evidence that protected areas contribute to the stabilization or recovery of threatened species, and provides little empirical support for other conservation approaches. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V. Source

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