Prioritising catchment management projects to improve marine water quality

Beher, Jutta, Possingham, Hugh P., Hoobin, Sean, Dougall, Cameron and Klein, Carissa (2016) Prioritising catchment management projects to improve marine water quality. Environmental Science and Policy, 59 35-43. doi:10.1016/j.envsci.2016.02.005

Author Beher, Jutta
Possingham, Hugh P.
Hoobin, Sean
Dougall, Cameron
Klein, Carissa
Title Prioritising catchment management projects to improve marine water quality
Journal name Environmental Science and Policy   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1873-6416
Publication date 2016-05-01
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.envsci.2016.02.005
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 59
Start page 35
End page 43
Total pages 9
Place of publication New York, NY United States
Publisher Elsevier
Collection year 2017
Language eng
Abstract Runoff from human land-uses is one of the most significant threats to some coastal marine environments. Initiatives to reduce that runoff usually set runoff reduction targets but do not give guidance on how to prioritize the different options that exist to achieve them. This paper demonstrates an easy to interpret economic framework to prioritise investment for conservation projects that aim to reduce pollution of marine ecosystems caused by runoff from agricultural land-uses. We demonstrate how to apply this framework using data on project cost, benefit and feasibility with a subset of projects that have been funded to reduce runoff from subcatchments adjacent to the Great Barrier Reef. Our analysis provides a graphical overview of the cost-effectiveness of the investment options, enables transparent planning for different budgets, assesses the existence of trends in the cost-effectiveness of different categories, and can test if the results are robust under uncertainty in one or more of the parameters. The framework provided solutions that were up to 4 times more efficient than when omitting information on cost or benefit. The presented framework can be used as a benchmark for evaluating results from a range of prioritisation processes against the best possible conservation outcomes.
Keyword Sediment
Runoff reduction
Great Barrier Reef
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
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