Using optimal land-use scenarios to assess trade-offs between conservation, development, and social values

Adams, Vanessa M., Pressey, Robert L. and Alvarez-Romero, Jorge G. (2016) Using optimal land-use scenarios to assess trade-offs between conservation, development, and social values. PLoS ONE, 11 6: . doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0158350


Author Adams, Vanessa M.
Pressey, Robert L.
Alvarez-Romero, Jorge G.
Title Using optimal land-use scenarios to assess trade-offs between conservation, development, and social values
Journal name PLoS ONE   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1932-6203
Publication date 2016-06-30
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0158350
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 11
Issue 6
Total pages 20
Place of publication San Francisco, CA, United States
Publisher Public Library of Science
Collection year 2017
Language eng
Abstract Development of land resources can contribute to increased economic productivity but can also negatively affect the extent and condition of native vegetation, jeopardize the persistence of native species, reduce water quality, and Erode ecosystem services. Spatial planning must therefore balance outcomes for conservation, development, and social goals. One approach to evaluating these trade-offs is scenario planning. In this paper we demonstrate methods for incorporating stakeholder preferences into scenario planning through both defining scenario objectives and evaluating the scenarios that emerge. In this way, we aim to develop spatial plans capable of informing actual land-use decisions. We used a novel approach to scenario planning that couples optimal land-use design and social evaluation of environmental outcomes. Four land-use scenarios combined differences in total clearing levels (10% and 20%) in our study region, the Daly Catchment Australia, with the presence or absence of spatial precincts to concentrate irrigated agriculture. We used the systematic conservation planning tool Marxan with Zones to optimally plan for multiple landuses that met objectives for both conservation and development. We assessed the performance of the scenarios in terms of the number of objectives met and the degree to which existing land-use policies were compromised (e.g., whether clearing limits in existing guidelines were exceeded or not). We also assessed the land-use scenarios using expected stakeholder satisfaction with changes in the catchment to explore how the scenarios performed against social preferences. There were a small fraction of conservation objectives with high conservation targets (100%) that could not be met due to current land uses; all other conservation and development objectives were met in all scenarios. Most scenarios adhered to the existing clearing guidelines with only marginal exceedances of limits, indicating that the scenario objectives were compatible with existing policy. We found that two key stakeholder groups, agricultural and Indigenous residents, had divergent satisfaction levels with the amount of clearing and agricultural development. Based on the range of benefits and potential adverse impacts of each scenario, we suggest that the 10% clearing scenarios are most aligned with stakeholder preferences and best balance preferences across stakeholder groups. Our approach to scenario planning is applicable generally to exploring the potential conflicts between goals for conservation and development. Our case study is particularly relevant to current discussion about increased agricultural and pastoral development in northern Australia.
Keyword Optimal land-use scenarios
Conservation
Development
Social values
Systematic conservation planning tool
Ecosystems
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
School of Biological Sciences Publications
 
Versions
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 0 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article
Scopus Citation Count Cited 0 times in Scopus Article
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Sun, 24 Jul 2016, 00:27:35 EST by System User on behalf of Learning and Research Services (UQ Library)