The state of legislation and policy protecting Australia's mangrove and salt marsh and their ecosystem services

Rogers, Kerrylee, Boon, Paul I, Branigan, Simon, Duke, Norman C, Field, Colin D, Fitzsimons, James, Kirkman, Hugh, Mackenzie, Jock R and Saintilan, Neil 2016, The state of legislation and policy protecting Australia's mangrove and salt marsh and their ecosystem services, Marine policy, vol. 72, pp. 139-155, doi: 10.1016/j.marpol.2016.06.025.

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Title The state of legislation and policy protecting Australia's mangrove and salt marsh and their ecosystem services
Author(s) Rogers, Kerrylee
Boon, Paul I
Branigan, Simon
Duke, Norman C
Field, Colin D
Fitzsimons, JamesORCID iD for Fitzsimons, James
Kirkman, Hugh
Mackenzie, Jock R
Saintilan, Neil
Journal name Marine policy
Volume number 72
Start page 139
End page 155
Total pages 17
Publisher Elsevier
Place of publication Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Publication date 2016-10-01
ISSN 1872-9460
Keyword(s) Mangrove
Salt marsh
Coastal wetland
Climate change
Sea-level rise
Summary Saline coastal wetlands, such as mangrove and coastal salt marsh, provide many ecosystem services. In Australia, large areas have been lost since European colonization, particularly as a result of drainage, infilling and flood-mitigation works, often starting in the mid-19th century and aimed primarily towards converting land to agricultural, urban or industrial uses. These threats remain ongoing, and will be exacerbated by rapid population growth and climate change in the 21st century. Establishing the effect of wetland loss on the delivery of ecosystem services is confounded by the absence of a nationally consistent approach to mapping wetlands and defining the boundaries of different types of coastal wetland. In addition, climate change and its projected effect on mangrove and salt marsh distribution and ecosystem services is poorly, if at all, acknowledged in existing legislation and policy. Intensifying climate change means that there is little time to be complacent; indeed, there is an urgent need for proper valuation of ecosystem services and explicit recognition of ecosystem services within policy and legislation. Seven actions are identified that could improve protection of coastal wetlands and the ecosystem services they provide, including benchmarking and improving coastal wetland extent and health, reducing complexity and inconsistency in governance arrangements, and facilitating wetland adaptation and ecosystem service delivery using a range of relevant mechanisms. Actions that build upon the momentum to mitigate climate change by sequestering carbon – ‘blue carbon’ – could achieve multiple desirable objectives, including climate-change mitigation and adaptation, floodplain rehabilitation and habitat protection.
Language eng
DOI 10.1016/j.marpol.2016.06.025
Field of Research 050205 Environmental Management
050102 Ecosystem Function
040104 Climate Change Processes
Socio Economic Objective 970105 Expanding Knowledge in the Environmental Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2016, Elsevier
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