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

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

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