Australia has one of the most extensive systems of marine parks in the world, with a complex set of management arrangements at State and Commonwealth levels of Government. This project is interested in assessing how the Australian public value the protection of marine ecosystems and species, at a number of geographic scales.
Non-market valuation techniques have been developed to assess the values that individuals may hold for environmental resources that are not traded through markets. These require individuals to make trade-offs between different outcomes, thereby revealing what they value, and by how much. This project, funded through the Marine Biodiversity NERP, is investigating values for both species specific management actions as well as regional marine reserve networks.
The acceptability of marine offsets as a method for achieving no-net-loss of ecological function of turtles and migratory birds is being studied, accounting for the type of management action that may be used, whether the offset is direct or indirect, and the geographical location of the offset, both within Australia or even internationally
At the regional level, Professor Burton and Doctor Rogers are investigating how people conceptualise the values that a marine park network can deliver, and how that gets translated into their willingness to support changes in the extent or management of marine parks.
The research is based on surveys of over 3000 respondents, and will be one of the largest investigations of preferences for marine ecosystems undertaken.