What is Biodiversity?“The variety of life forms: the different plants, animals andmicroorganisms, the genes they contain, and the ecosystems theyform.It is usually considered at three levels: genetic diversity, speciesdiversity and ecosystem diversity.”(National Strategy for the Conservation of Australia‟s BiologicalDiversity).
What is biodiversity? Species Diversity The variety of different plant and animal species in an area.
What is biodiversity? Genetic diversity This describes the variety of genetic information contained in individual plants, animals and microorganisms.
What is biodiversity?Ecosystem diversity the variety of habitats and ecological processes, as well as the tremendous diversity present within ecosystems in terms of habitat differences
Ecosystem Services “The economy is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the environment” Paul Hawkins Ecosystem services provided by nature include:Biological control Predator control by prey speciesClimate regulation Greenhouse gas regulationCultural Aesthetics; recreational, educational, spiritual benefitsDisturbance regulation Storm protection, flood controlErosion control, sediment retention Prevention of loss of soilFood production Production of fish, game, bush foodsGas regulation CO2 /02 balanceGenetic resources Genes for resistance to plant pathogens and crop pests
Ecosystem Services Nutrient cycling Nitrogen fixation Pollination Provision of pollinators Raw materials Production of timber, fuel or fodder Refugia Regional habitats for locally harvested species Soil formation Accumulation of organic material Water supply Provision of water by watersheds, reservoirs Waste treatment Pollution control Water regulation Provision of clean water for agriculture
Ecosystem Services Examples of ecosystem services supplying Horticulture : Biological control Climate regulation Pollination Refugia Soil formation Water regulation Water supply Waste treatment
100 Ibis eat up to 25 000 insects per day. These includeGrasshoppers and Locusts which are pest species on farms.
Ecosystem processes EconomicsAesthetics and culture Ethics
Current FinancialOpportunities Rate Rebates Rehabilitation/restoration grants (envirofund; Threatened species network; water quality and landcare) Nature Assist Covenants (VCAs; NCA; EPBC (income tax); Land for Wildlife
Emerging Markets ‘Success goes to those who get to the future first.’ - Peter Ellyard, Futurist. Carbon Credits Biodiversity Credits Environmental Stewardship Program Offsets
Carbon Credits Currently operating on offsetting carbon emissions eg nrmacarbonators formalized when Australian Govt brings in carbon trading framework in 2011 Being established here with Degrees Celcius and Terrain who are aiming to look at covering Revegetation efforts.
Biodiversity Credits Not yet formally established Not yet included in carbon credit assessments Potential market for tourists and companies looking for environmental and social credits Wet Tropics well placed to take advantage of this market with unique biodiversity values
Environmental stewardship Aim: “to maintain and improve the quality and extent of targeted high public value environmental assets on private land.” Will target environmental assets that are matters of National Environmental Significance (NES) as listed under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999: • nationally endangered or vulnerable species and ecological communities; • migratory species and wetlands for which Australia has international responsibilities; and • natural values associated with world and national heritage places. Purchase outcomes from landholders through cost-effective contracts for up to 15 years. Tender scheme, voluntary management agreements or covenants. $50M over 4 years Works “above regulatory responsibilities”
Offsets Offset the impacts of developments Applied to similar areas where disturbance takes place Currently occurring in Wet Tropics State and Federal Government policy being developed
Other emerging markets Marketing advantage entering into an Environmental Management (quality assurance) System that includes biodiversity criteria. Biotechnology and indigenous plant production Organic or environmentally sustainable food Developing and selling skills in environmental management and restoration Accessing Ethical Investment funds for business development
DESIGN PRINCIPLESPatches Quality Protect the best native vegetation first Size and number The bigger the better The more types of habitat, the better
Design PrinciplesShape and edges: The more compact, the better Consider „edge effects‟ Include buffersPosition Include all land classes
SitesLocal significance Include watercourses Provide for threatened species (rare, vulnerable, endangered)
Design PrinciplesLinkagesConnectivity and corridors: The more connected, the better. Include corridors Provide stepping stones
Design PrinciplesMatrixMosaics Integrate nature conservation areas with surrounding landuse
Nature in the landscapeThe three Rs The priority for conserving flora and fauna is to retain the priority remnant vegetation that remains, restore the quality of degraded habitats and then revegetate cleared areas.
Partnerships Community, corporate and government partnerships are the way of the future and not only in NRM and Landcare. • A shared vision, developed together (at some level); • Some common outcome (desired and/or real); • Sharing knowledge and experiences about the past, present and future (your grandchildren); • Ongoing commitment – recognizing the long term nature of NRM activities; • Ongoing facilitation and technical support from some partner/party; • Agreed predictable responsibilities, accountabilities and communication activities; • Participatory decision making processes; and • Celebrating successes.
Business motivation for partnerships withcommunity groups includes: • Long term business sustainability; • Links to their core business; • Risk management (to new and existing development); • Establishment of a credible track record in environmental activities eg; greenhouse; • Early compliance with regulatory standards; or • Inclusion in ethical investment funds; • Employee morale and engagement.