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Title: Regional-scale Collaborative Biodiversity Modelling in a Complex World
Contributor(s): Drielsma, Michael (author); Prior, Julian (supervisor); Kumar, Lalit (supervisor)orcid ; Ferrier, Simon (supervisor)
Conferred Date: 2011
Copyright Date: 2010
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Abstract: Biodiversity loss can be considered a wicked problem because of its complex interactions across a broad range of problem areas and in particular, to social systems. Problems of this sort cannot be solved in the normal sense, especially through linear, top-down, expert-led approaches. Rather, problems of this sort require collaborative approaches in which self-organising partnerships, comprised of community, government and science, are developed and empowered. Collaborative planning can lead to improved environmental outcomes, but to ensure this, they must be underpinned by credible, place-specific modelling methodologies, that catalyse innovation and learning, and lead to improved decision-making. This thesis is a synthesis of theory and modelling brought together within a case-study. It is divided into three parts: Part I introduces the research and develops a perspective on regional-scale collaborative biodiversity assessment. Part II comprises four published journal articles, describing novel biodiversity modelling components that extend the ability of biodiversity assessment to consider habitat heterogeneity, habitat dynamics and spatial processes. These components represent a complementary set of tools that can be configured into high-level decision-support tools for various forms of biodiversity assessment. In Part III the theory and modelling components are synthesised through the development of a decision-support system, which has been used in NSW, Australia, to undertake scenario evaluation in relation to a collaborative planning initiative, known as the Southern Mallee Guidelines. The scheme involved a combination of broadscale clearing of native vegetation and the establishment of private reserves. The decision-support system made it possible to demonstrate retrospectively, that a qualified 'maintain-or-improve' biodiversity outcome was achieved. The thesis concludes with a discussion on how the native vegetation planning system in New South Wales could be modified to accommodate collaborative initiatives.
Publication Type: Thesis Doctoral
Field of Research Codes: 050104 Landscape Ecology
050209 Natural Resource Management
050202 Conservation and Biodiversity
Rights Statement: Copyright 2010 - Michael Drielsma
HERDC Category Description: T2 Thesis - Doctorate by Research
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