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Rebecca Runting

How we can preserve biodiversity whist simultaneously meeting increasing human needs is an extremely important challenge to address. Biodiversity underpins and interacts with essential Earth system functions that support human activities. But, at the same time, human population growth, coupled with climatic change and natural resource depletion, are likely to place increasing demands on the Earth's finite natural resources and Earth systems. Thus, it is critical that we understand how land-use scenarios will play out under different policy options and to be able to quantify the cumulative impacts of these options on biodiversity and human systems.

This project will address the question: what is the impact of policies that achieve the preservation of biodiversity on food and water security, along with the broader economy? The specific objectives are:
1. Develop approaches for investigating the interactions between conservation policies (e.g., implementing a connected and representative reserve system) and land use change,
2. Identify the likely consequences of alternative policies on biodiversity, food and water security, and
3. Quantify the flow-on effects to the broader economy.

These objectives will be addressed for the national (Australian) scale and will importantly account for feedbacks between conservation strategies, land use change, and the broader economy. This project spans NERP themes 4 and 5 (Sustainable use of biodiversity and ecosystems, and Biodiversity economics and markets)

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PhD Student
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