Seminar @ UMelb, Monday 26 November

I’ve landed in Melbourne after a whirlwind fortnight of conferences and meetings at UQ in Brisbane (ok, I did find some time to go to the beach), and now tomorrow I’ll be giving a seminar at 11am, in the School of Botany, University of Melbourne (Building 123, Room G26). Big thanks to @mickresearch for organising this for me. Details below:

Hello, Melbourne

The impact of formal regulation and offset policy on the rate of deforestation in Australia

Deforestation remains the number one driver of biodiversity loss and environmental degradation worldwide. In Australia, regulatory reforms (including legislation and offset policies) have been implemented across several states in an effort to reduce the loss of native vegetation. However, so far there has been little research on the effectiveness of such regulatory processes, and whether they have had any significant impact on deforestation as compared to social, economic and climatic drivers. Using fine-scale satellite imagery, we have analysed the change in forest cover across the Australian continent for the years 1972-2011. The rate of deforestation was examined according to State, tenure (leasehold, freehold and public land) and major land use, in order to align our calculations with legislative and policy reach. Future work will use time series analysis to determine whether the introduction of land clearing legislation or offset policies had an impact on the rate of deforestation, or whether social, economic and climatic drivers overwhelmed the regulatory processes aimed to control deforestation.

In this talk, I’ll present some preliminary findings from this study (which I’m working on with Phil Gibbons & Andrew Macintosh).  I’ll also briefly outline some recent findings from work which aimed to examine the economic potential for carbon farming (environmental plantings and managed regrowth) in agricultural landscapes in Queensland.

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