Wednesday, 1 February 2012

The Biodiversity Fund

I read with interest this article on the recent call for proposals for the new Australian 'Biodiversity Fund', which is offering $946m over the next six years in much needed conservation and climate change related funding.  However, the first call has attracted much controversy, which is clearly described by well known scientists Emma Burns and David Lindenmayer of the Australian National University.  I myself put in a proposal to this fund, despite advice that the fund was looking for 'practical, on the ground action', my proposal was focused on the 'enabling technologies' component of the call, which is the only place I felt there was scope to propose a spatial planning tool that aims to increase capabilities and success in implementing plantings.  Many plantings are likely to have to provide multiple ecosystem services, such as biodiversity, carbon sequestration, control of invasives and spray buffering, for example.  The question of how best to ensure that plantings provide these services is complex, and requires a strategic landscape scale approach.  Without funding strategic proposals before on the ground action, I totally agree that there is unlikely to be much impact from ad hoc plantings - although, equally, without funding for ongoing monitoring to measure success, it will be hard to judge!