Two Post-doctoral positions available

Highly motivated Postdoctoral Research Fellows are invited to apply for a position within the ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions. There are two positions available. The successful applicants will work on projects in the areas of: multispecies management, restoration ecology, ecosystem services, species and conservation action prioritisation, adaptive management and monitoring, decision-making in socio-ecological systems or other emerging priority areas of research. All projects will involve close liaison with CEED researchers at other nodes of the Centre.

The position description can be found here http://uqjobs.uq.edu.au/jobDetails.asp?sJobIDs=495304&stp=AW

ARC CEED (Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions)

The ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions (CEED) aims to be the world’s leading research centre for solving environmental management problems and for evaluating the outcomes of environmental actions.

The research conducted by CEED will benefit environmental science, policy and management across Australia and around the world. Individually our key researchers are recognised as global leaders in fundamental environmental science – CEED draws together this expertise to produce a centre of international scale and calibre that will tackle the complex problem of environmental management and monitoring in a rapidly changing and uncertain world.

 

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Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) Review

Recently we reviewed the draft conceptual framework to guide the delivery of IPBES. The IPBES is the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (http://www.ipbes.net/). We recognise the challenges associated with developing this framework: while biodiversity and ecosystem services are all encompassing, they are poorly defined in theme, space, and time, and are inherently linked to society’s institutions and economy. We also acknowledge the importance of a conceptual framework for ensuring uptake and involvement of all key stakeholders of the IPBES. We applaud the expert working group who met in Bonn earlier this year for developing the draft conceptual framework and the attempt to capture the complexity inherent in the mandate for the IPBES. We also recognise the challenge of developing a conceptual framework that adds value to predecessors and that speaks to the four core functions of the IPBES .

Our review focused on three themes:

1.      Treatment of biodiversity: including definitions and relationship with ecosystem services

2.      Treatment of spatial and temporal scales

3.      Knowledge generation and decision making: including emphasis on how decisions are made and the importance of scenarios.

You can see the full content of our review here. We grouped our comments in relation to these themes, and attempted to clearly outline suggested actions to redress them. In some cases the three themes were interconnected. In an attempt to clarify our suggestions, we (well, mainly Liz!) developed a revisedschematic of the conceptual framework based on our comments (see below). We are looking forward to contributing to other intersessional activities of the IPBES – it was fun to gather our thoughts on how we conceptualise ecosystem services and biodiversity and the important role that imagining potential futures has in bridging the science-policy interface.

 

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Farmers’ willingness to provide ecosystem services and effects of their spatial distribution

Stine Wamberg Broch, Niels Strange, Jette B. Jacobsen, Kerrie A. Wilson. 2012. Farmers’ willingness to provide ecosystem services and effects of their spatial distribution. Ecological Economics. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolecon.2011.12.017

Abstract

The supply of ecosystem goods and services is spatially heterogeneous and the provision of such goods and services is also influenced by landowners’ willingness to provide. This is particularly the case in countries such as Denmark where many properties are privately owned. However, little attention has previously been given to the relationship between farmers’ willingness to provide a good or service and the spatial heterogeneity associated with their demand. In this study farmers’ willingness to participate in afforestation contracts are investigated using a choice experiment of various contracts with the purpose to provide: groundwater protection, biodiversity conservation or recreation. We employ a random parameter logit model to analyse the relationship between farmers’ preferences for afforestation purposes and the spatial variables; groundwater interests, species richness, human population density, forest cover and hunting. The results show that increasing human population density significantly increases farmers’ required compensation with respect to recreational activities. Furthermore, there is a significant effect of hunting which decreases compensation required by the farmers to enter an afforestation project. The share of groundwater and forest cover does not significantly influence preferences. We conclude that spatial variations should be considered when designing conservation policies.

Fig. 1. Maps of the five spatial variables. a (upper left): Species richness. b (upper middle): Human population density. c (upper right): Groundwater interests. d (lower left): Forest cover. e (lower right): Hunting, hoofed game.