Valuing What Matters

For too long, decisions on how Australia manages its natural capital have been skewed toward generating short-term profits, often at the expense of our natural wealth. The lack of reliable information on the true cost of resource depletion and environmental pollution often leads to decisions which ignore the value of services provided by nature.

By making the economic value of services provided by our forests, oceans and fresh water visible, our work will promote better management of Australia’s natural capital. Results of the work will be released in stages, focusing first on those economic sectors with the most potential for policies to be reshaped to support sustainable economic development.

Upcoming research projects:

Healthy Oceans
Worldwide fisheries are under pressure from over-exploitation, pollution and rising temperatures. Australia has both a moral responsibility and a potential competitive advantage to gain from managing our ocean resources sustainably.

What is the real, long-term value of Australia’s marine resources? How can we manage them to protect our unique marine life for future generations, produce healthy seafood and provide long-term livelihoods for communities?

Farming Forests
Australia has many opportunities in regional areas to invest in forests to provide clean air and water, capture carbon and slow the loss of biodiversity. To manage forests as a key part of Australia’s ecological infrastructure we need sound policy frameworks informed by an understanding of both their public and private value.

What is the value of investing in forests for carbon farming and other ecosystem benefits? What mix of policies is needed to stimulate stable, long-term investment? How should carbon farming interact with Australia’s broader carbon policies?