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The importance of protecting and conserving the wet Tropics: A synthesis of NERP Tropical Ecosystems Hub tropical rainforest research outputs 2011-2014
reportposted on 19.10.2018, 00:00 by Julie Carmody, H Murphy, R Hill, C Catterall, S Goosem, A Dale, D Westcott, J Welbergen, L Shoo, N Stoeckl
This report provides an overview and synthesis of the key findings of research conducted under the Australian Government’s National Environmental Research Program (NERP) Tropical Ecosystems (TE) Hub relevant to tropical rainforests including the Wet Tropics of Queensland World Heritage Area and Cape York. The NERP rainforest research theme comprised ten projects undertaken by researchers from James Cook University, Griffith University, the University of Queensland and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in collaboration with partner agencies. The intent of the NERP funded rainforest research was to improve our understanding of the impacts of future climate change and extreme events on plant and animal biodiversity; gain new insights for beneficial indigenous co-management of protected areas; identify the importance of tourism and community values; determine the status of threatened key indicator species; examine options regarding natural resource management (NRM) governance under greenhouse gas abatement measures; determine the role of fire in the management of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act 1999 listed ecosystems and species; and invasive species management. The research aimed to inform and facilitate management action and remediation to reduce, restore and increase resilience of the Wet Tropics ecosystems. The research findings are also applicable elsewhere, particularly in tropical ecosystems more broadly, but many outcomes can be translated for general application in terrestrial ecosystem management. The report provides an introduction to the Wet Tropics region, a synthesis of key ecological and socio-economic project highlights for the region (including status and trends), future pressures and threats, how research has informed policy and management, and future research priorities.