A conceptual framework based on accounting principles of stocks, flows, and investment can be applied to natural capital, social and cultural capital, human capital and financial and physical capitals. Development and application of this framework can help to reveal the environmental, social and economic impacts and interactions of prevailing land use (or other management) practices, and provide a way of assessing the effectiveness of different programmes for achieving desired management objectives.
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One of the possibilities for recognizing the interdependence of humans and nature is through values and a framework of ethics. In the case of freshwater in New Zealand, various legal solutions have been proposed to settle Maori interests in water. One solution is the vesting of water as a ‘person’ in law, as in Whanganui and Te Urewera. The proposed sale of a hydroelectric company's state assets triggered a Maori claim to activate recognition of Maori interests in fresh water. The case took the argument that sales cannot proceed until Maori interests are settled.
The "Kimberley to Cape Initiative" in Northern Australia is working across one quarter of a billion hectares of arguably the largest ecologically intact areas of tropical savannas, rivers and shallow seas in the world. It offers a globally significant opportunity in tropical conservation connectivity. The project aims to support development and conservation that enhances natural and cultural values and strengthens communities. Its key strategy is to establish an interconnected network of land of diverse tenures. It includes and links landscapes of particularly high conservation value, e.g.
Recently, a lengthy process of negotiation between timber and conservation interests led to a significant change in a decades long conflict over the use of public forests in Tasmania. An agreement was reached to protect significant additional areas of forest through industry consolidation, with support from all parties. After years of costly and divisive conflict through social, political and market lobbying and campaigning, an alternative approach of direct negotiation between the main stakeholders was undertaken.
This case study discusses the great potential connectivity outcomes when development offsets are required in a landscape which has a foundation of groups committed towards achieving a conservation “corridor”. In this example, the development was the loss of vegetation required for the duplication of the Hume Highway (by Roads and Maritime NSW) and the “corridor” is the priority landscape of the Slopes to Summit partnership (within the Great Eastern Ranges Initiative area) in southern NSW.
Five minutes walk from the World Parks Congress venue, you leave the urban landscape behind and find yourself in one of Australia’s largest urban parklands – a place that supports forest, saltmarsh, wetlands and wildlife. Over a quarter of the birds found in Australia - 200 different species – have been recorded in the Park, as well as many species of frogs, reptiles and bats.
Voluntary standards, combined with independent certification, are widely used to ‘internalize’ social and environmental impacts in markets, offering recognition for producers and information for consumers. Multi-stakeholder roundtables exist for forest and agricultural commodities and fisheries, among others, with certified production gaining significant market share in some cases.
The Great Barrier Reef is an amazing natural treasure and one of the most precious ecosystems on Earth. It is critical to the cultural, economic and social wellbeing of more than one million people who live in its catchment and is valued by the national and international community. In light of increasing pressures, and concerns raised by the World Heritage Committee on the impacts of development in 2011, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority worked with the Queensland Government and the Commonwealth Department of the Environment to undertake a comprehensive strategic assessment.
Strategic assessments provide the opportunity to identify and deliver regional conservation priorities and desired outcomes at a landscape scale with an explicit focus on ecologically sustainable development principles. Strategic environmental assessment (SEA) is the practice of environmental impact assessment at the planning, policy or regulation development stage. Strategic assessments provide an alternative approach to project by project environmental assessment to incorporate landscape scale assessment and multi-jurisdictional partnerships.