Full Project Title: Ecological Economics for MDBfutures
This project was led by Professor David Choquenot
Eco2 is designed to build sustainable UC research capacity that is progressively more collaborative. The projects build on past policy relevant collaborative research and continue to build future capacity that is both increasingly collaborative and relevant to policy, and therefore 'in demand'.
The Eco2 projects focus on improving quality and capacity in integrated economic and ecological research by building on the research strengths at IAE as well as strengthening the collaborations with research users such as the Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA). The Coorong project will build on IAE and HRI collaboration, along with the MDBA, on the wellbeing dimensions of recreational visits that are enhanced when the environment is healthy. This enhances the relevance of IAE ecological research for policy makers who must include consideration of human wellbeing along with environmental condition. A new collaboration with CQU on this project extends the capacity and profile of UC to undertake economic/ecological integrated research. There is potential to involve CSIRO and ABARES researchers as well on the Coorong project and its phases over time.
The Information Project aims to identify what information people in the Basin receive about climate change and water policy change and how this affects their decisions about their farming investments and their ongoing sustainability as a family unit.
Improving the relevance of UC research for policy will enhance a UC research strength – the ability to provide relevant and timely input to policy
Additional planned outcomes include a minimum of four peer reviewed scholarly publications for the CRN
- To build UC and IAE capacity to more fully integrate CRN ecological and economic research
- To fill two key knowledge gaps facing water managers in the Murray-Darling Basin (MDB):
- Estimate benefits of diverting water to the environment in the MDB at the Coorong in order to facilitate prioritization of environmental watering
- Derive a better understanding of the kind of information that improves decision making by people in the MDB and evaluate how this information shapes decisions and affects behaviours
- To develop a UC and IAE multi-disciplinary capacity for applied research that is relevant to policy makers
Photo courtesy of the Murray-Darling Basin Authority. Dareton with Murray river channel - Image taken in October, 2004. Dareton is in the Coomealla irrigation area and is a grape producer. It was established in 1922. The town is named for Water Conservation and Irrigation Commissioner Henry Dare.
MDBfutures is supported by the Australian Government's Collaborative Research Networks program.