16 November 2016
A Northern Hub project is providing science to support decision making about uses of land and water in northern Australia.
Project coordinator Dr Álvarez-Romero says planning decisions are commonly made with one objective in mind, such as agricultural development or biodiversity conservation.
“However, this focus on a single objective limits consideration of the range of possible environmental, social, cultural and economic outcomes of alternative developments, and their implications for different stakeholders,” he explained.
“It also hinders our understanding of the potential for co-benefits and trade-offs between different objectives.”
The project is demonstrating how to put participatory, multi-objective catchment planning into action, to allow stakeholders to construct and assess the outcomes of alternative development and management scenarios.
“With increasing interest in development in northern Australia, considering multiple objectives is critical to planning for a sustainable and successful future here” project leader Professor Bob Pressey emphasised.
The project will be showcased on 29th November at the annual Ecological Society of Australia (ESA) conference in Fremantle, Western Australia. A symposium will include up-to-date knowledge about environmental and Indigenous water needs, and explore the broader consequences of increased water use for development.
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