Using Common Property Resource Approaches to Achieve Systematic Landscape Change

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"As the only first-world country to be classified as megadiverse, Australia has a unique opportunity to lead the world in the development of conservation through sustainable use (CSU) strategies. These strategies could utilise our unique biota, 80% of which is endemic to Australia. The FATE program aims to incorporate forms of land-use that combine conservation with commercial return into the landscape mosaic to drive systematic landscape change. Part of this challenge is to pursue opportunities for investment in conservation-orientated landscape change that is driven initially by a reduction in the risk of income loss associated with regeneration of targeted land in the short term; and by the reduction of risk in the long term if landscape change is achieved. The significant challenge of achieving systematic landscape change across property boundaries is central to this research which will seek to establish common property arrangements for areas managed for conservation. It is through these arrangements that: economies of scale can be achieved for forms of land-use that provide commercial returns while achieving regional natural resource management targets; and opportunities can be created for investment in public-good conservation combined with commercial enterprise. "This paper outlines the theoretical and practical foundations of this approach and describes the activities that are being undertaken to develop it further. An example of a strategy is: (1) Design insertions in the landscape across property boundaries in sub-catchment through which regional NRM targets can be achieved; (2) Create a common property entity that can attract sponsorship and investment; (3) Greenlease land from landholders so they receive some return for loss of productive area; (4) Utilise local and external knowledge to regenerate and manage the area; (5) Develop sustainable use systems on Greenleased areas that achieve commercial and conservation objectives."
IASC, common pool resources, landscape change, biodiversity, conservation, scale