Prioritization Trade-Offs in Restoration Areas for Carbon Market and Koala Conservation

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Maria Luiza Almeida Luz, Oscar Cacho

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Background. A challenge when deciding on priority areas for restoration is to enhance ecological resilience of the targeted ecosystem while providing economic opportunities to local communities. This means the compatibility of various socioecological objectives under alternative prioritization schemes needs to be understood. Objectives. To spatially analyze trade-offs between ecological and economic management objectives to restore habitats for koala conservation. Production possibility frontiers (PPF) and attainment levels were derived for various restoration scenarios and prioritization objectives. Methods. Variables modeled were Above Ground Biomass (AGB), Number of dwellings at risk of bushfires (DWELR) and Koala Habitat Suitability (KHS – the probability that the local habitat is suitable for koalas). To focus on koala management, only areas with probability of finding a koala > 0.25 were considered. The ForSysX model was used for optimization of areas treated subject to budget constraints. Priority areas for each objective were identified, attainment curves and PPF were derived for 26 planning areas. Results. There were strong trade-offs between DWELR and the other two objectives, meaning that increasing efforts towards reducing dwellings at risk of bushfires can compete with efforts for AGB and KHSM. On the other hand, AGB and KHSM were positively correlated. PPF show that few areas have high potential for maximizing two objectives together, but several areas can be maximized for biomass without severe impact on KHSM or DWELR. Conclusion. Restoring areas for koala conservation and carbon markets have mutual benefits as the latter is a potential funding source for restoration treatments.

Resource Type:
Conference Presentation, SER2021

Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program