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Development and application of core attributes
A first approximation national report of
changes in revegetation extent
Ric...
Outline
• Context and definitions
• What information is frequently requested by decision makers?
• Development and applica...
Revegetation
Regeneration
Restoration
Context
• Info about the investment in reveg and resulting changes in
extent of reveg is poor
• Current systems and capaci...
Increasing emphasis on regenerative landscapes
Increasingscale
LANDSCAPE
MANAGEMENT
AMENITY, HABITAT &
ECOLOGICAL FUNCTION...
What key information is frequently
requested by national decision makers?
• What is the baseline extent and change in reve...
Project partners
Partners Part 1
2001-07
Part 2
2007-09
Australian, State and Territory Government
agencies
1
Land and Wat...
Development of core attributes for
monitoring and reporting revegetation
Project – part 1 (2001-2007):
• Review existing a...
National
reveg core
attributes
(Ver 3)
Site attributes
1. Data record
2. Date
3. Source
4. Location
5. Area
6. Existing la...
Brochure
Field
manual
Journal papers
Zerger et al. (2009) Atyeo & Thackway (2009)
Online data entry tool
Online data entry tool
Online data entry tool
Application of core attributes for
national reporting
Project – part 2: (2007-09)
• Continue promoting the use and adoptio...
ACT NS
W
NT Qld SA Tas Vic aaa
1 Yes
2 No
3 Yes
4 Yes
5 Yes
6 Yes
7 Yes
8 Yes
9 Yes
ACT NSW NT Qld SA Tas Vic AAA
1 Yes
2 ...
So where did the data come from?
Extent Dataset name Data type Description
Intended scale
for use
Suitability
rating1
Nati...
National revegetation status report1:
What did we find?
• Revegetation, rehabilitation and restoration are interchangeable...
Suitability of revegetation and restoration
activity datasets for national reporting1
Point and polygon datasets compiled ...
ABS – ha fenced
to exclude
grazing1
ABS – ha
planted or
sown1
ACT 66 59
NSW 138 393 43 952
NT 255 705 27
Qld 331 216 9 743...
Border Rivers Gwyder -
Cummulative area of reveg since 1980 associated with annual
crops and highly modified pastures
0
10...
Lessons
• Compiling a national dataset will require support and agreement of
multiple partners – full participation cannot...
Caution - remote sensing change is relative to a baseline
- it is only part of the answer – NEED REFERENCE STATE
Zero/cons...
Caution: Differentiating LMP from natural
disturbance events and regeneration
Photos by Garry Dowling and Richard Thackway...
1925
Occupation
Relaxation
Anthropogenic
change
Net benefit
time
1900 20251950
Reference
changeinvegetation
indicators&/or...
Conclusions
• National core attributes were successfully developed and applied
• Core attributes help researchers and prac...
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Development and application of core attributes, A first approximation national report of changes in revegetation extent

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Revegetation, including restoration and rehabilitation, is a major public-private strategy to protect natural resources, repair stressed ecosystems and habitats and is essential for maintaining sustainable production and delivery of ecosystem services. Revegetation and rehabilitation activities are funded via public or private investment, or a combination of both, at national, state and regional levels. A capacity to routinely track changes and trends in revegetation type, extent and condition at a national level has lagged behind considerable investments over several decades in on-ground strategic revegetation activities and changes in land management practices. The extent of revegetation may be derived from multiple sources including: regional surveys, remote sensing, catchment-based data and site-based inventory. States and territories use a range of methods to record and report site and landscape scale revegetation extent. Despite the development and endorsement of national standards for the tracking changes in the type, extent and condition of revegetation, these standards have not been systematically or comprehensively adopted at regional, state and national levels. The national standard was used to report on the extent of national revegetation using the best available regional and national scale data and information; the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Agricultural Census and the National Carbon Accounting System (NCAS). This approach provides a first approximation of changes in the extent of revegetation or rehabilitated land in Australia. Systematic and comprehensive monitoring and reporting of revegetation extent at site and landscape scales are critical for consistently evaluating successes of revegetation outcomes. Improved accuracy of reports would be achieved by using the national standard.

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Development and application of core attributes, A first approximation national report of changes in revegetation extent

  1. 1. Development and application of core attributes A first approximation national report of changes in revegetation extent Richard Thackway Presentation to Restore, Regenerate, Revegetate: Restoring Ecological Processes, Ecosystems and Landscapes in a Changing World University of New England, Armidale 7 February 2017
  2. 2. Outline • Context and definitions • What information is frequently requested by decision makers? • Development and application of national core attributes for national reporting and monitoring revegetation outcomes • National report completed in 2009
  3. 3. Revegetation Regeneration Restoration
  4. 4. Context • Info about the investment in reveg and resulting changes in extent of reveg is poor • Current systems and capacity to enable national monitoring and reporting are poor
  5. 5. Increasing emphasis on regenerative landscapes Increasingscale LANDSCAPE MANAGEMENT AMENITY, HABITAT & ECOLOGICAL FUNCTION Whole of Paddock Rehabilitation (WOPR) Mine site offsets Break of slope plantings Windbreaks & shelter belts Streamside plantings Biodiversity plantings incl. corridors Total Grazing Pressure in agri- ecosystems Public- private native tree plantations Public native forestry Protected areas Mine site rehabilitation Defence training areas Reveg drivers, incl. restoration and regen Wetland restoration
  6. 6. What key information is frequently requested by national decision makers? • What is the baseline extent and change in revegetation at – Local, regional and national levels • What spatial and temporal info is available for prioritizing the most strategic investments • What are the outcomes of investments – monitoring and evaluation
  7. 7. Project partners Partners Part 1 2001-07 Part 2 2007-09 Australian, State and Territory Government agencies 1 Land and Water Australia * 1 National Land and Water Resources Audit * 1 National NRM coordination committee for vegetation – ESCAVI * 1 Greening Australia 1 1 CSIRO 1 1 Conservation Volunteers Australia 1 National Carbon Accounting System 1 Selected regional bodies and land managers 1 Australian Bureau of Stats 1 * Ceased to operate in 2008
  8. 8. Development of core attributes for monitoring and reporting revegetation Project – part 1 (2001-2007): • Review existing attribute frameworks and systems for monitoring and reporting • Develop a set of standardized core attributes in partnership with key research agencies and practitioners • Seek national endorsement of the core attributes • Develop and test tools: to collect, compile, translate and synthesize existing data • Promote the use and adoption the core attributes
  9. 9. National reveg core attributes (Ver 3) Site attributes 1. Data record 2. Date 3. Source 4. Location 5. Area 6. Existing land cover Establishment attributes 7. Species being established 8. Revegetation Objective 9. Revegetation Method 10. Funding Source and $ Spent 11. Threats to Revegetation 12. Use of Patch Monitoring attributes 13. Monitoring frequency 14. Revegetation - % revegetated, % survival planted/ sown 15. Achievement of objective 16. Management of site 17. Comments Other attributes – user defined ~18.-1000. incl. research The list (v2) was endorsed in 2006 by Greening Australia, NLWRA and CSIRO
  10. 10. Brochure
  11. 11. Field manual
  12. 12. Journal papers Zerger et al. (2009) Atyeo & Thackway (2009)
  13. 13. Online data entry tool
  14. 14. Online data entry tool
  15. 15. Online data entry tool
  16. 16. Application of core attributes for national reporting Project – part 2: (2007-09) • Continue promoting the use and adoption the core attributes • Populate a national database with existing spatial & temporal datasets • Evaluate the suitability of compile existing datasets for use in national revegetation reporting • Evaluate the performance of the core attributes – revise as required • Prepare first approximation national report of changes in revegetation extent
  17. 17. ACT NS W NT Qld SA Tas Vic aaa 1 Yes 2 No 3 Yes 4 Yes 5 Yes 6 Yes 7 Yes 8 Yes 9 Yes ACT NSW NT Qld SA Tas Vic AAA 1 Yes 2 No 3 Yes 4 Yes 5 Yes 6 Yes 7 Yes 8 Yes 9 Yes 10 Yes 12 No Method: compile data across all scales for national reporting ACT NSW NT Qld SA Tas Vic WA 1 Yes 2 No 3 Yes 4 Yes 5 Yes 6 Yes 7 Yes 8 Yes 9 Yes 17 Yes States & Territories Corereveg Attributes Land manager State-wide & regional bodies ABS survey and remote sensed data National
  18. 18. So where did the data come from? Extent Dataset name Data type Description Intended scale for use Suitability rating1 National NCAS forest extent 1989-2006 raster woody vegetation change NRM partly ABS agricultural census 01/06 table survey – approx. 150 000 respondents tree, shrub sown and fencing area available for SA, SLA and NRM regions partly ABS ARMS 07-08 table survey – approx 33, 000 respondents regional native vegetation protection & planting NRM marginally State/ Regional Qld enQuire table native vegetation activities NRM marginally SA DWLBC report 07 table (survey) revegetation activities NRM marginally Local ACT Landkeepers polygon vegetation, land care activities local highly NSW LMP (one NRM of data provided) polygon vegetation activities local highly NSW PVP point intended vegetation offset local marginally Vic CAMS polygon vegetation, land care activities local highly WA Regional Investment Footprints 03-08 (partially complete) point NRM funded activities local marginally CSIRO data from VegTrack polygon vegetation activities local highly 1 suitability for translating and compiling into a national dataset
  19. 19. National revegetation status report1: What did we find? • Revegetation, rehabilitation and restoration are interchangeable terms amongst data suppliers • Poor connection between reveg extent and condition & reveg investment • Not all land managers and regional bodies are interested to collect and/or submit or share reveg data • State level and regional body datasets are incomplete and inconsistently collected • Spatially comprehensive and consistently national data include: NCAS2 & ABS3 activity but these do not contain all core attributes • NCAS and ABS datasets generally reflect a positive trend in revegetation – NB: NCAS only detects woody vegetation change and not recent plantings 1 2009 Report prepared for the Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry, ABARE-BRS, Canberra 2 NCAS (National Carbon Accounting System) 3 ABS Agricultural Commodities survey
  20. 20. Suitability of revegetation and restoration activity datasets for national reporting1 Point and polygon datasets compiled using the revegetation core attributes
  21. 21. ABS – ha fenced to exclude grazing1 ABS – ha planted or sown1 ACT 66 59 NSW 138 393 43 952 NT 255 705 27 Qld 331 216 9 743 SA 33 977 8 197 Tas 6 545 1 013 Vic 31 331 20 232 WA 465 367 18 488 Total 1 262 600 101 711 1 total area of seed sown, seedlings planted and protected from grazing by fencing from ABS Agricultural Commodities survey 2005-06 (7125.0) Snapshots of area (ha) revegetated by various activities from ABS
  22. 22. Border Rivers Gwyder - Cummulative area of reveg since 1980 associated with annual crops and highly modified pastures 0 10000 20000 30000 40000 50000 60000 70000 1986 1988 1990 1992 1994 1996 1998 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 NCAS Epochs Hectares Series1 NCAS (National Carbon Accounting System)
  23. 23. Lessons • Compiling a national dataset will require support and agreement of multiple partners – full participation cannot be assumed: – Researchers, land managers and practitioners – Regional bodies and state agencies – National agencies involved in reporting using remote sensing datasets – National agencies involved in farm scale surveys • Even with a common core attribute framework, there are numerous analytical issues regarding fitness of the data for: – Data integration and synthesis – Consistent reporting at regional, state and national levels
  24. 24. Caution - remote sensing change is relative to a baseline - it is only part of the answer – NEED REFERENCE STATE Zero/constant baseline (e.g. environmental planting = reveg) Response variable/s Time Start Time Varying baseline (e.g. environmental watering) Response variable/s Single intervention & climatic variability Baseline Response to activity/ intervention NCAS 1980
  25. 25. Caution: Differentiating LMP from natural disturbance events and regeneration Photos by Garry Dowling and Richard Thackway 2006 20132009 Low intensity grazing - cell grazing sheep Severe dust storm Low intensity grazing - cell grazing sheep LMP: land management practices
  26. 26. 1925 Occupation Relaxation Anthropogenic change Net benefit time 1900 20251950 Reference changeinvegetation indicators&/orindices* 1850 1875 1975 2000 Need a model of ecosystem change (causes & effects) Baseline *Indicators & /or indices of: ecosystem function, structure and composition
  27. 27. Conclusions • National core attributes were successfully developed and applied • Core attributes help researchers and practitioners talk the same language and share datasets across multiple scales & jurisdictions • The core attributes have not been systematically or comprehensively adopted at local, regional, state & national levels • Consistent and ongoing national reporting of revegetation outcomes requires committed national leadership and investment

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