Uncertainties around the implementation of a clearing-control policy in a unique catchment in Northern Australia: exploring equity issues and balancing competing objectives

Adams, Vanessa M., and Pressey, Robert L. (2014) Uncertainties around the implementation of a clearing-control policy in a unique catchment in Northern Australia: exploring equity issues and balancing competing objectives. PLoS One, 9 (5). e96479. pp. 1-11.

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Abstract

Land use change is the most significant driver linked to global species extinctions. In Northern Australia, the landscape is still relatively intact with very low levels of clearing. However, a re-energized political discourse around creating a northern food bowl means that currently intact ecosystems in northern Australia could be under imminent threat from increased land clearing and water extraction. These impacts are likely to be concentrated in a few regions with suitable soils and water supplies. The Daly River Catchment in the Northern Territory is an important catchment for both conservation and development. Land use in the Daly catchment has been subject to clearing guidelines that are largely untested in terms of their eventual implications for the spatial configuration of conservation and development. Given the guidelines are not legislated they might also be removed or revised by subsequent Territory Governments, including the recently-elected one. We examine the uncertainties around the spatial implications of full implementation of the Daly clearing guidelines and their potential effects on equity of opportunity across land tenures and land uses. We also examine how removal of the guidelines could affect conservation in the catchment. We conclude that the guidelines are important in supporting development in the catchment while still achieving conservation goals, and we recommend ways of implementing the guidelines to make best use of available land resources for intensified production.

Item ID: 34118
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1932-6203
Additional Information:

© 2014 Adams, Pressey. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Funders: National Environmental Research Program (NERP), Australian Research Council (ARC)
Projects and Grants: NERP project 1.1 - Catchment to Coast Conservation Planning
Date Deposited: 16 Jul 2014 09:10
FoR Codes: 14 ECONOMICS > 1402 Applied Economics > 140205 Environment and Resource Economics @ 50%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9606 Environmental and Natural Resource Evaluation > 960601 Economic Incentives for Environmental Protection @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9607 Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards > 960704 Land Stewardship @ 50%
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