2 What is Biodiversity?“The variety of life forms: the different plants, animals and microorganisms, the genes they contain, and the ecosystems they form.It is usually considered at three levels: genetic diversity, species diversity and ecosystem diversity.”(National Strategy for the Conservation of Australia’s Biological Diversity).
3 What is biodiversity? Species Diversity The variety of different plant and animal speciesin an area.
4 What is biodiversity? Genetic diversity This describes the variety of genetic information contained in individual plants, animals and microorganisms.
5 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
6 Ecosystem Services“The economy is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the environment” Paul HawkinsEcosystem services provided by nature include:Biological controlPredator control by prey speciesClimate regulationGreenhouse gas regulationCulturalAesthetics; recreational, educational, spiritual benefitsDisturbance regulationStorm protection, flood controlErosion control, sediment retentionPrevention of loss of soilFood productionProduction of fish, game, bush foodsGas regulationCO2 /02 balanceGenetic resourcesGenes for resistance to plant pathogens and crop pests
7 Ecosystem Services Nutrient cycling Nitrogen fixation Pollination Provision of pollinatorsRaw materialsProduction of timber, fuel or fodderRefugiaRegional habitats for locally harvested speciesSoil formationAccumulation of organic materialWater supplyProvision of water by watersheds, reservoirsWaste treatmentPollution controlWater regulationProvision of clean water for agriculture
9 100 Ibis eat up to 25 000 insects per day 100 Ibis eat up to insects per day. These include Grasshoppers and Locusts which are pest species on farms.
10 Ecosystem processes Economics Aesthetics and culture Ethics
11 Current Financial Opportunities Rate RebatesRehabilitation/restoration grants (envirofund; Threatened species network; water quality and landcare)Nature AssistCovenants (VCAs; NCA; EPBC (income tax);Land for Wildlife
12 Emerging Markets ‘Success goes to those who get to the future first.’ - Peter Ellyard, Futurist.Carbon CreditsBiodiversity CreditsEnvironmental Stewardship ProgramOffsets
13 Carbon CreditsCurrently operating on offsetting carbon emissions eg nrmacarbonatorsformalized when Australian Govt brings in carbon trading framework in 2011Being established here with Degrees Celcius and Terrain who are aiming to look at covering Revegetation efforts.
14 Biodiversity Credits Not yet formally established Not yet included in carbon credit assessmentsPotential market for tourists and companies looking for environmental and social creditsWet Tropics well placed to take advantage of this market with unique biodiversity values
15 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 yearsWorks “above regulatory responsibilities”
16 Offsets Offset the impacts of developments Applied to similar areas where disturbance takes placeCurrently occurring in Wet TropicsState and Federal Government policy being developed
17 Other emerging markets Marketing advantage entering into an Environmental Management (quality assurance) System that includes biodiversity criteria.Biotechnology and indigenous plant productionOrganic or environmentally sustainable foodDeveloping and selling skills in environmental management and restorationAccessing Ethical Investment funds for business development
18 DESIGN PRINCIPLES Patches Quality Size and number Protect the best nativevegetation firstSize and numberThe bigger the betterThe more types ofhabitat, the better
19 Design Principles Shape and edges: The more compact, the better Consider ‘edge effects’Include buffersPositionInclude all land classes
20 SitesLocal significanceInclude watercoursesProvide for threatened species (rare, vulnerable, endangered)
21 Design Principles Linkages Connectivity and corridors: The more connected, the better. Include corridorsProvide stepping stones
22 Design Principles Matrix Mosaics Integrate nature conservation areas with surrounding landuse
23 Nature in the landscape The three RsThe 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.
24 PartnershipsCommunity, 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.
26 Business motivation for partnerships with community 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.