Evaluating the conservation impact of Antarctica’s protected areas

Antarctic Specially Protected Areas (ASPAs) are a key regulatory mechanism for protecting Antarctic environmental values. Previous evaluations of the effectiveness of the ASPA system have focused on its representativeness and design characteristics, presenting a compelling rationale for its systematic revision. However, while upgrading the system could increase the representation of values within ASPAs, representation alone…

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Relationships between hope, optimism, and conservation engagement

The loss and degradation of nature can lead to hopelessness and despair, which may undermine engagement in conservation actions. Emerging movements, such as that behind the organization Conservation Optimism, aim to avert potential despair of those involved in conservation. Some argue that fostering positive states, such as hope or optimism, can motivate engagement and action;…

The role of incentive mechanisms in promoting forest restoration

Forest restoration has been proposed as a scalable nature-based solution to achieve global environmental and socio-economic outcomes and is central to many policy initiatives, such as the Bonn Challenge. Restored forests contain appreciable biodiversity, improve habitat connectivity and sequester carbon. Incentive mechanisms (e.g. payments for ecosystem services and allocationof management rights) have been a focus…

Drivers of global mangrove loss and gain in social-ecological systems

Mangrove forests store high amounts of carbon, protect communities from storms, and support fisheries. Mangroves exist in complex social-ecological systems, hence identifying socioeconomic conditions associated with decreasing losses and increasing gains remains challenging albeit important. The impact of national governance and conservation policies on mangrove conservation at the landscape-scale has not been assessed to date,…

Roadmap for investment in land restoration

Natural area managers face difficult decisions about how much money to allocate to what restoration actions and to ensure that public expenditure on land restoration is cost effective, efficient and transparent. In our study, published in Ecological Applications, we develop a ‘roadmap’ for investment in land restoration. Our approach explicitly considers space, time and their…

Taking action for the Reef?

Our study led by Dr Angela Dean found that most Australians are not making a connection between climate change and reef health. We conducted an online survey of 4,285 Australians  asking “…what types of actions could people like you do that would be helpful for the GBR?”. We found that only 4.1% mentioned a specific…

Does certifying oil palm help alleviate poverty?

Oil palm agriculture is promoted as a way to improve living standards in tropical countries, but has led to mixed outcomes for local communities. We evaluated impacts across Indonesia, and asked whether poverty had been improved via the leading sustainability certfication scheme. As the World’s most commonly produced vegetable oil, palm oil has attracted its…

Addressing equity in community-based forest management

Participatory approaches to forest management have been promoted as a means of returning resource use rights to communities and enabling sustainable use and equitable management of forests. Community-based forest management (CFM) is a participatory approach often heralded in the literature as achieving win-win social and ecological outcomes. However, even participatory approaches may not always result…

Reef conservation in the face of complexity and uncertainty

Climate change is threatening tropical coral reef ecosystems. While conventional management systems are essential, new interventions are required to sustain coral reefs. Our paper published in PLOS ONE proposes that proactive research and development to expand the reef management toolbox fast but safely is now urgently needed. We argue that such toolbox presents at least…

Understanding drivers of fire

The increasing extent and frequency of fires globally requires nuanced understanding of the drivers. These are often poorly understood in spatially expansive and temporally dynamic landscapes.  Our study developed a spatially- and temporally-explicit typology of fire occurrences in Kalimantan (531,000 km2), Indonesia, between 2002 and 2017. We examined how the occurrence of fire varies across climate,…