Landscapes toolkit for triple-bottom-line assessment of land use scenarios in Great Barrier Reef catchments

Conference Paper

The coastal strip adjacent to the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) is a region of high economic importance and exceptional environmental value. It contains the highest biological diversity in Australia, supports a World Heritage rainforest area and directly influences the GBR. To ensure that future development addresses economic and social issues while enabling remediation of landscape and ecosystem degradation, a Landscapes Toolkit (LsT) is being developed as part of the CSIRO 'Water for a Healthy Country' National Research Flagship project: Repair and Sustainable Development of Floodplains in the Wet Tropics. (Figure Presented) Using The Invisible Modelling Environment (TIME) the LsT integrates disparate disciplinary approaches, knowledge and data, to allow for the spatially-explicit analysis of the impacts on environmental, social and economic values (i.e. the triple-bottom-line) of changes in land use & management. The LsT comprises disciplinary models for terrestrial biodiversity, aquatic biodiversity, production systems, hydrology and water quality, and terrestrial economics, which users can select depending on their specific concerns. These models are passively linked to allow for the comparative-static evaluation of predefined land use & management change scenarios, while users can define the corresponding type and format of output (see Figure 1). The Douglas Shire in North Queensland serves as a case study to develop and test the LsT approach. Three land use scenarios (production, water quality and biodiversity) are developed together with the local community and are assessed for their impact based on a limited number of selected economic, biodiversity and water quality criteria. In the Water Quality scenario farm incomes, biodiversity and, to a limited extent, water quality improve as compared to the current situation, whereas in the Biodiversity scenario, terrestrial and aquatic biodiversity improve significantly while farm incomes decrease as compared to the current situation and the Water Quality scenario. It is anticipated to use the LsT in a participatory process with stakeholders, to develop future scenarios and provide information that aid the community in deciding among multiple choices. Over the coming years the LsT will be developed to allow for the dynamic evaluation of user-defined scenarios, while in the long-term the LsT will allow for active linkages between disciplinary models to account for processes endogenous to the system. Additionally, attention will be given to uncertainty surrounding the component models' and integrated system results.

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Roebeling, PC; Bohnet, I; Smith, M; Westcott, D; Kroon, F; Hartcher, M; Hodgen, M; Vleeshouwer, J

Published Date

  • December 1, 2005

Published In

  • Modsim05 International Congress on Modelling and Simulation: Advances and Applications for Management and Decision Making, Proceedings

Start / End Page

  • 711 - 717

International Standard Book Number 10 (ISBN-10)

  • 0975840002

International Standard Book Number 13 (ISBN-13)

  • 9780975840009

Citation Source

  • Scopus