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Adaptation pathways for conservation law and policy


McDonald, J and McCormack, PC and Dunlop, M and Farrier, D and Feehely, J and Gilfedder, L and Hobday, AJ and Reside, AE, Adaptation pathways for conservation law and policy, WIREs Climate Change, 10, (1) Article e555. ISSN 1757-7780 (2019) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

DOI: doi:10.1002/wcc.555


Globally, biodiversity is under increasing pressure from human activities despite protective measures in conservation laws. Climate change will exacerbate those pressures and the effects of habitat loss and species decline. Current approaches to conservation law in most countries focus on establishing protected areas and limiting activities outside reserves that might affect priority species, habitats, and ecological communities. These measures have had mixed success depending on scale and implementation, but are likely to perform poorly under conditions of future change. To prepare for the future, we consider how conservation law and policy needs to anticipate and manage for future change; widen its scope beyond species and ecological communities that are currently threatened; and support adaptive management of priority areas and species. Using Australian conservation law as a case study, we outline three possible routes by which this shift could occur. The first involves enhancing the adaptiveness of conservation law, the second expands the focus of conservation law from protected areas and listed species to include ecosystems and ecosystem services, while the third attempts to do both simultaneously. We examine the legal mechanisms needed to implement each route, examples of their use in practice, and barriers that must be overcome for successful implementation.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:climate change, adaptation, responses, policy, Australia, biodiversity conservation, law
Research Division:Law and Legal Studies
Research Group:Environmental and resources law
Research Field:Environmental law
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Rehabilitation or conservation of terrestrial environments
UTAS Author:McDonald, J (Professor Jan McDonald)
UTAS Author:McCormack, PC (Ms Phillipa McCormack)
UTAS Author:Gilfedder, L (Ms Louise Gilfedder)
UTAS Author:Hobday, AJ (Dr Alistair Hobday)
ID Code:129486
Year Published:2019 (online first 2018)
Web of Science® Times Cited:10
Deposited By:Law
Deposited On:2018-12-03
Last Modified:2019-03-15

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