Environmental-economic accounting for the Mitchell River

It’s hard to track the impacts of development and conservation investments on interconnected environmental, socio-economic and cultural values. This is especially the case in relatively natural landscapes and in places of important cultural significance, since interlinkages between different values are often complex and unclear, clouding decision-making. Environmental-economic accounts (EEAs) help inform development and conservation investments by tracking the extent and condition of ecosystem assets, the ecosystem services produced by those assets, and the direct benefits delivered to individuals and society over time (Figure 1). These benefits can be valued in economic terms so that EEAs can help reveal the benefit delivered by specific land management activities. Research is needed on EEA approaches that can better account for interconnected ecosystem assets and their condition in ways that reflect regional ecological and socio-cultural contexts.

Mitchell River EEA diagram

  • The Mitchell River is the focus catchment for this investigation into environmental-economic accounting. Photo: Kerry Trapnell
  • The Mitchell River is the focus catchment for this investigation into environmental-economic accounting. Photo: Peter Negus
  • The Mitchell catchment will be assessed to help inform development and conservations investments. Photo: Michael Douglas.
  • Photo: Stephen Faggotter.

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