The aim of this SRA is to quantify and attach a value to environmental services and the ecosystems that produce these services in regional Australia.
Overview of the SRA (pdf)
"Ecosystem services" is the term used to describe the services provided by our natural ecosystems. These services include the cleaning of water and dispersal of pollutants provided by our rivers, the cycling of nutrients accomplished by our soils and streams, the preservation of biodiversity by our native habitats, the provision and maintenance of areas of natural beauty and many other services of value to humans created by our environment.
Environmental services are rarely traded in markets. Because there is no explicit market price for these environmental services, or the ecosystems that produce the environmental services, ecosystem services tend to be undervalued. When decisions are made in communities, the impact of these decisions on environmental assets is often not taken into account because little explicit value is placed on the value of environmental assets to community welfare.
But simply because these ecosystem services do not have a monetary value attached to them does not mean that these services have no value for humans. Ecosystem services research is an effort to attach monetary values to the services provided by our environment and so lead to improved decision-making about our environment.
|Dr Roderick Duncan||Economic valuation and economic modelling|
|Prof Max Finlayson||Biodiversity; ecosystem services and wetlands ecology|
|Prof Gary Luck||Biodiversity; ecosystem services; market-based instruments|
|Prof Mark Morrison||Economic valuation; survey/instrument design; market-based instruments|
|Dr Julia Howitt||Water quality and management|
|Manu Saunders, PhD student||Pollination services in agriculture|
Key outcomes or examples of how the work of this SRA has made a difference include:
A four year (2009-2013) ARC Future Fellowship (recipient was Professor Gary Luck) has resulted in a number of outcomes.
A project benchmarking values and attitudes to conservation in the Great Eastern Ranges (2009-2011) has identified different types of lifestyler segments which has led to changed communication practices within the Hawkesbury Nepean CMA.
A workshop organised by ILWS and CSIRO held in Canberra in 2011 focussed on eco-systems services in the Murray-Darling Basin led to researchers from CSIRO and the Institute contributed to a 'Multiple Benefits of the MDBA Basin Plan project which included an outline of some of the ecosystems services benefits to Basin Communities. The project report and resulting paper was cited in the Regulatory Impact Statement that was tabled in parliament. The South Australian Government has also used these research findings in their response to the MDB water sharing plan
The value of river health to the residential community of the Georges and Cook River Catchments, Dr Rod Duncan, Prof Mark Morrison and Buyani Thomy (PhD candidate). Sydney CMA, Canterbury and Fairfield Councils, and CSIRO, $238,000 (2013-2016) Project details
Integrating conservation and ecosystem service values in Australia's catchments. ARC Future Fellowship. Prof Gary Luck. (2010-2014) Project details
Managing agricultural landscapes to maximise production and conservation outcomes: the case of the Regent Parrot, Dr Peter Spooner, A/Prof David Watson & Prof Gary Luck, ARC Linkage grant project with Select Harvest and NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, $501,000 (2008-2013) Project details
Multiple Benefits of the Murray Darling Basin Authority Basin Plan, CSIRO and CSU (Prof Mark Morrison), MDBA, (2011)
Designing Landscapes to Deliver Ecosystem Services to Agriculture. A/ Prof Gary Luck and Dr Peter Spooner. ARC Discovery Grant, $255,000. (2009-2012) Project details
Benchmarking values and attitudes to conservation in the Southern Highlands Link of the Great Eastern Ranges Initiative. Morrison, M., McCulloch, R., Greig, J., Waller, D. & Lockwood,M. Environmental Trust Grant, NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water. (2009-2011) PDF Summary Report
The provision of the Ramsar Site Management Planning Guidelines Module of the 'National Guidelines for Ramsar Wetlands—Implementing the Ramsar Convention in Australia'. Department of Environment, Water Heritage and the Arts. Max Finlayson and George Lukacs (James Cook University). (2008)
Understanding Landholder Constraints to the Uptake of Marketing Based Instruments. Land and Water Australia, Central West CMA, Northern Rivers CMA, Queensland Government. Mark Morrison. (2006-2008)
Luck, G.W., Chan, K.M.A. & Fay, J.P. (2009). Protecting ecosystem services and biodiversity in the world's watersheds. Conservation Letters 2, 179-88.
Luck, G.W., Kremen, C., Harrington, R., Harrison, P.A. (2009). Response to Sagoff – The economic value of ecosystem services. BioScience 59, 461-62.
Luck, G.W., Harrington, R., Harrison, P.A., Kremen, C., Berry, P.M., Bugter, R., Dawson, T.P., de Bello, F., Díaz, S., Feld, C.K., Haslett, J.R., Hering, D., Kontogianni, A., Lavorel, S., Rounsevell, M., Samways, M.J., Sandin, L., Settele, J., Sykes, M.T., van den Hove, S., Vandewalle, M. and Zobel, M. (2009). Quantifying the Contribution of Organisms to the Provision of Ecosystem Services. BioScience 59, 223-35.
de Groot, R., Finlayson, M., Verschuuren, B., Ypma, O. & Zylstra, M. (2008) Integrated assessment of wetland services and values as a tool to analyse policy trade-offs and management options: A case study in the Daly and Mary River catchments, Northern Australia. Supervising Scientist Report 198, Supervising Scientist, Darwin NT.
Morrison, M. and Bennett, J. (2006). Valuing New South Rivers Using Benefit Transfer. In Rolfe, J. and Bennett, J. (Eds). Choice Modelling and the Transfer of Environmental Values. Edward Elgar, Cheltenham
Morrison, M. and Bergland, O. (2006). Prospects for the Use of Choice Modelling for Benefit Transfer. Ecological Economics. 60: 420-428.
Finlayson, C.M., D'Cruz R. & Davidson N.J. (2005). Ecosystem services and human well-being: water and wetlands synthesis. World Resources Institute, Washington DC, USA.
Ricketts, T.H., Dinerstein, E., Boucher, T., Brooks, T.M., Butchart, S.H.M., Hoffmann, M., Lamoreux, J., Morrison, J., Parr, M., Pilgrim, J.D., Rodrigues, A.S.L., Sechrest, W., Wallace, G.E., Berlin, K., Bielby, J., Burgess, N., Church, D.R., Knox, D., Loucks, C., Luck, G.W., Master, L., Naidoo, R., Ridgely, R., Schatz, G., Shire, G., Strand, H., Wettengel, W. & Wikramanayake, E. (2005). Pinpointing and preventing imminent extinctions. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. 102, 18497-501.
Morrison, M. and Bennett, J. Valuing NSW Rivers Using Choice Modelling for Use in Benefit Transfer (2004). Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics. 48(1): 591-612.
|Manu Saunders||Pollinator insects and ecosystem function in commercial almond orchards|
|Shannon Triplett||The costs and benefits of birds in almond orchards in Victoria, Australia|
|John McLaughlin||Conservation ecology of the Regent Parrot in an agricultural landscape|
|Eak Rana||Ecosystem Service Trade-offs in Forest Commons: A Case Study from Community Forests in Central Himalaya, Nepal|
|Ashlea Hunter||Investigating the link between social and ecological benefits of urban green space|
|Buyani Thomy||Valuing the Benefits of Improved River Health|