Navigation Links
Nottingham-Australia collaboration on environmental conservation of the future
Date:3/25/2013

The national parks, nature reserves and wetlands of the semi-arid wheatbelt of Western Australia with their rich diversity of flora and fauna are the backdrop for new research to improve the management of natural resources in the 21st century.

The project will combine the latest ideas in computer science at The University of Nottingham with the pioneering ambitions of forward-thinking Australian environmental planners.

Researchers from the University's Horizon Digital Economy Research Institute are working with the Western Australian Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) to create new software tools and processes to create a new environmental planning framework called Value-Plan.

Specifically, the goal of the research project is to acquire accurate information on the values people like farmers, industry professionals and conservationists attach to a wide variety of biological assets in Australia and incorporate this into a new environmental planning approach.

The new survey tools and intelligent data software to be researched and developed will inform decision-making at government level in the field of sustainable development and environmental policy planning. It is hoped the approach will ultimately be adopted by government and non-government organisations alike, and could be applicable to a diverse range of management applications, including town planning and natural resource management.

The system will be trialled over the next two years in two conservation areas of Western Australia, and initial work has already begun at the Lake Warden Natural Diversity Recovery Catchment near Esperance.

Dr Christian Wagner, computer scientist from the University's Horizon Institute, has just returned from a research trip to Western Australia. He said:

"This project has the potential to inform policy making in environmental conservation all over the world. For example, decisions ranging from town-planning to the construction of new power plants and transport infrastructure generally require consultation with a wide variety of groups, including local and regional stakeholders as well as incorporating information from various sources including surveys, impact studies and sensor measurements.

"Being able to aggregate these different information sources in a coherent way to enable informed decision making is vital both in order for the decisions to be appropriate to the specific context as well as to maintain due transparency in the decision process. We need to solve the problem of how to maximise the use of available conservation funds and human resources through combining innovative data collection and analysis techniques to accurately reflect the quantitative data available as well as the subjective views of stakeholders."

Dr Michael Smith, from the Western Australian Dept of Environment and Conservation added; "We hope that our work will allow nature conservation managers to better understand and account for the actual values that humans derive from our natural environment. This is important because good management should be driven by the values that are important to people, it gives local stakeholders ownership of the process and helps to create transparency for people to understand why and how conservation is occurring. This important project will also contribute to a collaborative venture the department has with the Future Farm Industries Cooperative Research Centre."

The research will delve into cutting edge computer science with four main goals:

  • The design of new survey methods that capture stakeholder views on the human values of different biological assets. Stakeholders include local conservation and industry groups, professional scientists and natural resource managers. It will accommodate uncertainty in stakeholder opinions by providing for example an 'interval on a scale' rating option.

  • The integration of the survey tools in an online website based in part on existing software components developed by Horizon Digital Economy Research Institute.

  • Researchers will develop algorithms to aggregate the (often) existing quantitative data with collected qualitative stakeholder input. As part of this, initial aggregation across multiple stakeholder opinions and multiple sources of quantitative information will be investigated and suitable tools will be developed. An overall, interpretable model of the value-based model will be designed to support policy design and data-driven decision-making.

  • The new computer-based framework will be used and evaluated in the two conservation areas managed by DEC. The results will be made available specifically to global stakeholders (e.g. policy makers) in particular in the UK as well as published at international conferences, science fairs and journals.

'/>"/>
Contact: Emma Rayner
emma.rayner@nottingham.ac.uk
44-011-595-15793
University of Nottingham
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Harvards Wyss Institute and Sony DADC announce collaboration on Organs-on-Chips
2. Scripps Research and Takeda Pharmaceuticals announce expanded research collaboration
3. International collaboration to investigate disappearing reptiles and amphibians
4. Biomass research collaboration seeks to improve biofuel efficiency, bio-products quality
5. CHOP and BGI strengthen partnership with agreement on pediatric brain tumor collaboration
6. Sanford-Burnham and Intrexon Corporation establish collaboration to accelerate stem cell research
7. NREL and Johnson Matthey announce 5-year collaboration on biofuels
8. In an uncertain world, Navy needs science and technology collaboration, chief says
9. Wiley signs collaboration agreement with the Asian Federation of Biotechnology
10. Oil from algae closer to reality through studies by unique collaboration of scientists
11. Iconic Darwin finch genome sequenced in Genome 10K international collaboration
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/3/2016)... May 3, 2016  Neurotechnology, a provider of ... MegaMatcher Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS) , a ... projects. MegaMatcher ABIS can process multiple complex biometric ... combination of fingerprint, face or iris biometrics. It ... and MegaMatcher Accelerator , which have ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... -- First quarter 2016:   , Revenues ... first quarter of 2015 The gross margin was 49% ... and the operating margin was 40% (-13) Earnings per ... from operations was SEK 249.9 M (21.2) , Outlook ... 7,000-8,500 M. The operating margin for 2016 is estimated ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... 2016 Research and Markets has ... Market 2016-2020"  report to their offering.  , ,     ... The analysts forecast the global multimodal biometrics market ... the period 2016-2020.  Multimodal biometrics is ... as the healthcare, BFSI, transportation, automotive, and government ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/26/2016)... YORK , May 26, 2016 ... investors see value in this space. Today,s pre-market research on ... equities: Radius Health Inc. (NASDAQ: RDUS ), Cerus ... ARWR ), and Five Prime Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: ... stock technical briefings at: http://www.activewallst.com/ ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... Kinder Scientific ... positive developments that position the Company for the future. Kinder Scientific announces ... F. Kinghorn has been appointed Chairman of the Board, Curtis D. Kinghorn has ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... Diego, Calif. (PRWEB) , ... May 25, 2016 , ... ... Diego area and has consistently been rated one of its top attractions. Fortune ... the globe to participate in a unique and intimate team-building experience. , Each event ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... Oregon (PRWEB) , ... May 25, 2016 , ... ... Set features a variety of fracture-specific plating options designed to address fractures of ... industry-leading fracture fixation solutions. , The Acumed Ankle Plating System 3 is composed ...
Breaking Biology Technology: