Max Finlayson GippslandLakes Presentation

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Information about Max Finlayson GippslandLakes Presentation
Education

Published on November 21, 2008

Author: hneg

Source: slideshare.net

Ramsar & the Gippsland Lakes Max Finlayson Director, Institute for Land, Water & Society Charles Sturt University, Albury

Ramsar & the Gippsland Lakes

Ramsar Convention on Wetlands International, non-UN agreement between governments (contracting parties) Text agreed in 1971 in city of Ramsar, Iran Convention came into effect in 1975 – Australia first signatory in 1974 Now 158 country members 1822 sites listed

International, non-UN agreement between governments (contracting parties)

Text agreed in 1971 in city of Ramsar, Iran

Convention came into effect in 1975 – Australia first signatory in 1974

Now 158 country members

1822 sites listed

Contracting Parties accept obligations under the text of the Convention and from formal Resolutions passed at triennial meetings – Australia has agreed to these; not imposed The Convention's mission is the conservation and wise use of all wetlands through local, regional and national actions and international cooperation, as a contribution towards achieving sustainable development throughout the world

List one wetland as internationally importance - 65 sites; 47 incomplete documentation Make wise use of ALL wetlands - piece-meal inventory underway since early 1990s; new proposal to undertake national inventory effort Maintain ecological character of ALL wetlands - originally referred to listed sites only; very doubtful this is happening for sites listed as inter important let alone other wetlands

List one wetland as internationally importance - 65 sites; 47 incomplete documentation

Make wise use of ALL wetlands

- piece-meal inventory underway since early 1990s; new proposal to undertake national inventory effort

Maintain ecological character of ALL wetlands

- originally referred to listed sites only; very doubtful this is happening for sites listed as inter important let alone other wetlands

Cooperate with neighbouring countries especially for managing shared wetlands - generally thought to refer to physical location, but also refers to wetlands used by migratory species, eg waterbirds Inform the Convention if adverse change occurs on listed wetlands - substantive claims that a number of Australian sites seem to have undergone or are under-going adverse change; e.g. Coorong, Macquarie ….. Gippsland?

Cooperate with neighbouring countries especially for managing shared wetlands

- generally thought to refer to physical location, but also refers to wetlands used by migratory species, eg waterbirds

Inform the Convention if adverse change occurs on listed wetlands

- substantive claims that a number of Australian sites seem to have undergone or are under-going adverse change; e.g. Coorong, Macquarie ….. Gippsland?

Wetlands of international importance – listed against 9 criteria agreed by the Convention Gippsland Lakes listed - 15 Dec 1982 based on 4 criteria: - good representative example of wetland characteristic of the biogeographical region - regularly supports 20,000 waterbirds - regularly supports substantial numbers of waterbirds from particular groups - regularly supports 1% on the individuals in a population of one species or subspecies

– Ramsar sites should be covered by an appropriate and current management plan – Gippsland strategy 2002 (?) linked with catchment/regional planning mechanisms ensures wise use of the wetland and maintenance of its ecological character (including restoration if necessary) based on best available knowledge; includes adaptive management and monitoring involves adequate community engagement, involvement, consultation, reporting ….. Management planning – Gippsland Lakes

– Ramsar sites should be covered by an appropriate and current management plan – Gippsland strategy 2002 (?)

linked with catchment/regional planning mechanisms

ensures wise use of the wetland and maintenance of its ecological character (including restoration if necessary)

based on best available knowledge; includes adaptive management and monitoring

involves adequate community engagement, involvement, consultation, reporting …..

Ecological character of listed wetlands described in a Ramsar Information Sheet that should be updated every 6 years or when the ecological character changes Ramsar Information Sheet for Gippsland Lakes dated 1999 ; information currently being updated Size – 60,015 ha – map not supplied (as required) Different wetland types – multiple benefits and values - coastal, brackish/saline lagoons - permanent saline/brackish/alkaline marshes/pools - permanent freshwater marshes/pools Ecological character – Gippsland lakes

Ecological character of listed wetlands described in a Ramsar Information Sheet that should be updated every 6 years or when the ecological character changes

Ramsar Information Sheet for Gippsland Lakes dated 1999 ; information currently being updated

Size – 60,015 ha – map not supplied (as required)

Different wetland types – multiple benefits and values

- coastal, brackish/saline lagoons

- permanent saline/brackish/alkaline marshes/pools

- permanent freshwater marshes/pools

Biological Physical Chemical Regulating Cultural Supporting Provisioning Ecosystem Components and Processes Ecosystem Services Ecological character is the combination of the ecological components , processes and ecosystem services that characterize the wetland This links biodiversity with wetland use – water & land use, such as agriculture and fisheries

 

Sites undergoing or likely to undergo adverse change in ecological character: – bring to attention of Ramsar Secretariat ( Article 3.2 ) e.g. Coorong & Lower Lakes, SA – can also place them on Montreux Record to draw attention to their plight, attract support/funds to restore, invoke a Ramsar Advisory Mission - adding them to or taking them off the Record is a voluntary process by country; Convention’s technical panel provides advice when taking them off the Record Ethical / legal obligation – processes good for our wetlands Reporting adverse change in ecological character

Condition – status/trends of ecological character of Gippsland Lakes Ecological components - Waterbird species Fish Shell-fish Seagrass Algae Salinity Sediments Water Habitats Ecological processes Nitrogen / phosphorus cycles Water flows – fresh and tidal Salinity / temp stratification Reproduction / pollination Ecosystem services Fishing / Recreation / Tourism Aesthetic / Spiritual Hydrologic functions Freshwater supply Erosion control / sedimentation Water purification Storm / flood buffering

Ecological components

- Waterbird species

Fish

Shell-fish

Seagrass

Algae

Salinity

Sediments

Water

Habitats

Ecological processes

Nitrogen / phosphorus cycles

Water flows – fresh and tidal

Salinity / temp stratification

Reproduction / pollination

Ecosystem services

Fishing / Recreation / Tourism

Aesthetic / Spiritual

Hydrologic functions

Freshwater supply

Erosion control / sedimentation

Water purification

Storm / flood buffering

Integrated multi-scalar wetland analyses INVENTORY MONITORING Broad-scale Site-specific Modelling & Research Consultation & Communication Broad-scale Site-specific ASSESSMENT Risk Assessment Vulnerability Assess Environmental Impact Assess Strategic Environmental Assess Rapid Biological Assess

Undertake for key parts of ecological character – indicators for ecological components, processes & ecosystem services Determine limits of acceptable change

Undertake for key parts of ecological character – indicators for ecological components, processes & ecosystem services

Four states recognised for Australian inland wetlands – hard to reverse: I Clear, aquatic plant dominated II Clear, benthic microbial community dominated III Turbid, sediment dominated IV Turbid, phytoplankton dominated Where are we with the Gippsland Lakes? Change in ecological condition

Four states recognised for Australian inland wetlands – hard to reverse:

I Clear, aquatic plant dominated

II Clear, benthic microbial community dominated

III Turbid, sediment dominated

IV Turbid, phytoplankton dominated

Where are we with the Gippsland Lakes?

Responses – things to do or do better Ongoing community consultation, awareness, involvement Integrated inventory, assessment & monitoring of all parts of ecological character Establish conceptual models of ecological character and drivers of change Identify likely scenarios and confirm likely changes (limits) and ecological state (acceptability)

Ongoing community consultation, awareness, involvement

Integrated inventory, assessment & monitoring of all parts of ecological character

Establish conceptual models of ecological character and drivers of change

Identify likely scenarios and confirm likely changes (limits) and ecological state (acceptability)

Responses cont. Cross sectoral management / catchment scale – wise use principles - contained within the current management plan Climate change – require vulnerability assessment and adaptation measures Consider all Ramsar obligations/requirements – provide documentation and support management; consider Article 3.2 and Montreux listing ….. latter has not been policy

Cross sectoral management / catchment scale – wise use principles - contained within the current management plan

Climate change – require vulnerability assessment and adaptation measures

Consider all Ramsar obligations/requirements – provide documentation and support management; consider Article 3.2 and Montreux listing ….. latter has not been policy

Projected temperatures during 21st C are significantly higher than at any time during the last 1000 years

Vegetation of the Arctic: current conditions and projected changes under the IS92a scenario for 2090-2100 Climate change - expecting further changes in response to atmospheric emissions

Climate change - projected impacts Climate change will affect wetlands and their species e.g. through biological responses to changes in temperature, rainfall, water regimes, salinity … Wetlands play important roles in the global cycling of water, and the storage and cycling of carbon gases – these cycles will be affected by climate change

Climate change will affect wetlands and their species e.g. through biological responses to changes in temperature, rainfall, water regimes, salinity …

Wetlands play important roles in the global cycling of water, and the storage and cycling of carbon gases – these cycles will be affected by climate change

Changes in c limate have already begun to affect wetland biodiversity Frequency and impacts of disturbances (fires, storms, droughts etc)…. Timing of growing season, migrations, reproduction …. Changes in pest/disease outbreaks/vectors Affects noted in high latitude and high altitude systems; increased coral bleaching; change in bird movements …..

Frequency and impacts of disturbances (fires, storms, droughts etc)….

Timing of growing season, migrations, reproduction ….

Changes in pest/disease outbreaks/vectors

Affects noted in high latitude and high altitude systems; increased coral bleaching; change in bird movements …..

Thank-you Acknowledgements Colleagues involved in different analyses and assessments, and for the provision of information used in the talk, including from the IPCC, Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, DEWHA & Ramsar STRP, Eckhardt Kuijken, as well as members of community organisations supporting efforts to maintain the ecological character of the Gippsland lakes.

Thank-you

Acknowledgements

Colleagues involved in different analyses and assessments, and for the provision of information used in the talk, including from the IPCC, Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, DEWHA & Ramsar STRP, Eckhardt Kuijken, as well as members of community organisations supporting efforts to maintain the ecological character of the Gippsland lakes.

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