Developing metric assessments for biodiversity tenders
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Developing Metric Assessments for Biodiversity Tenders. John Rolfe. Participants. Project run by Central Queensland University John Rolfe and Jill Windle Collaboration with Kathleen Broderick & Ingrid van Puten (GBRMPA) Romy Griener & Daniel Gregg (River Cons.)

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  • Project run by Central Queensland University

    • John Rolfe and Jill Windle

  • Collaboration with

    • Kathleen Broderick & Ingrid van Puten (GBRMPA)

    • Romy Griener & Daniel Gregg (River Cons.)

    • Roy Brouwer (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)

    • Jeff Bennett (ANU)

    • Geoff Kerr (Lincoln NZ)

Tender mechanisms
Tender mechanisms

  • Tenders are a form of market based instrument (MBI)

    • Process for auctioning public funding for biodiversity protection

  • Two major types

    • Purchasing environmental protection

      • BushTender

    • Addressing pollution issues

      • Water quality tender

Setting metrics
Setting metrics

  • Allocations of public funding need to distinguish between different priorities

  • Need to assess the level of environmental improvement and compare to the bid price

  • Metric provides the mechanism to generate an Environmental Benefits Index

    • Used to rank and select bids

Missing information
Missing Information

  • Most environmental auctions are cost-efficiency exercises

    • Identifying better ways to allocate public funding and gain biodiversity protection

  • Better to assess the economic benefits that are being generated by public funds

    • Need to evaluate the metric against some valuation of the environmental benefits

An example
An example

  • Large water quality tender run in Burdekin catchment in north Queesland

    • $600K in on-ground incentives

    • Lower Burdekin and Haughton River catchments

    • Cane and grazing industries

  • Tender run from Sept 07 – Jan 08

  • Nearly 90 bids submitted (for $2.1M)

  • Bids assessed using a metric

Key outputs assessed in the metric
Key outputs assessed in the metric

  • Nutrient management

    • such as better nutrient budgeting and lower fertiliser application rates

  • Waste water management

    • such as recycle pits, sediment traps, drain design

  • Pesticide management

    • reductions in the application of key herbicides and pesticides

  • Sediment management

    • improved ground cover, minimum tillage, reduced stocking rates.

The metric selected
The metric selected:

  • 33 successful bids for $600,000

    • 491.8 tons of sediment reduction for $89.22 per ton,

    • 96,207 kg nitrogen reduction for $4.55 per kg, and

    • 55.6 kg Pesticide reduction for $2,221 per kg.

  • Was the $600K of investment appropriate?

Proportion of movement
Proportion of movement

  • 0.04% of annual sediment load in river

  • 1.7% of annual Nitrogen load in river

  • 0.04% of annual Pesticide application in region

The project aim
The project aim

  • Identify values from NMV experiments that can be used in tenders to evaluate bids

  • Estimate values for agricultural water quality improvements in GBR

  • Repeat the Water Quality metric with those values and compare the resulting allocations


  • Difficult to translate pollutants into impacts on GBR

    • Sediments, nutrients, pesticides

  • Footprint of impacts often localised

    • Flood plume of Burdekin River

  • Different pathways involved

    • Surface runoff versus groundwater movement

  • Events often episodic – major flood events

The key task
The key task

  • Design CM experiments relating to water quality in relevant area of GBR catchment

  • Translate SS, N and Pesticides into environmental outcomes

    • + certainty levels for the outcomes to occur

  • Assess WTP for the benefits of improved water quality

  • Have this in a form suitable for inclusion in a metric

    • Test against the Burdekin WQ data

Other parts to the study
Other parts to the Study

  • Reviewing scope for CM and benefit transfer to be used in metrics

    • Reviewing vegetation metrics & benefit transfer (Windle)

    • Reviewing existing case studies for BT in other areas

      • Meta analysis of values for rivers and wetlands (with Roy Brouwer)

      • Meta analysis of values for recreational fishing (with Geoff Kerr)

    • Testing in CM how benefit values are influenced by the type of input actions

      • E.g. shipping, green zones, Ag. Water quality