G'day. I moved up to Darwin in July 2013 to take up a joint CDU/ANU scholarship.
I was working on a large agricultural project in Western Victoria funded by both private (superannuation) and government money that was trying to bring environmental outcomes into large scale agriculture through ideas like sustainable forestry, biodiversity and carbon credits, ecological restoration, and trading water rights. My time working there gave me an idea of the way in which land management is changing and the ways in which the private sector was being asked to take on roles previously assumed by government. My interest in environmental governance came through some of my masters study in PNG that looked at Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) certification - another market based tool for promoting sustainable resource management - in a development setting.
The way conservation works is changing with new revenue streams and more civil society and private enterprise. I'll be having a look at some of the ways this is playing out in Australia's National Reserve System. I'll be picking case studies from both the national park system and private conservation zones to compare how their objectives, processes and outcomes differ, what's driving the growth in private conservation, and what the social perceptions on private conservation are.
I'll be spending time at both ANU and CDU so look me up for a chat if you're in Canberra or Darwin.
Follow me on Twitter: @McGowanBen