what’s it about? Ostensibly to price the restoration of eco-system services within a geographically defined region [below]. But more than that, it about providing a context to the region through various lenses; climatic, hydrologic, engineered, ecological, demographic, economic and political. To bring supra-regional thematic concepts into a local context.
Why this particular space? Interestingly enough, in the photograph below there is agricultural land, residential land, wetlands, riparian land, both road and rail transport links, drainage, sewerage, water, power and telecommunications infrastructure, weed invasions, pest invasions, chemical, agricultural and human pollutants including asbestos and heavy metals. It’s a virtual elephants graveyard for the common wombat, and was once home to the wallaby’s, potteroos, kangaroos, koalas, powerful owls, sugar gliders, … In short, it has, or had it all. Not so much anymore. It is in south east Australia. The upper reaches of the Yarra Valley, the Southern slopes of the Southern fall of Australia,s southern Alps.
Here, for better or worse, I’m Trying to consolidate global thematic constructs; climate change, deforestation, salination, water scarcity, … into a localised, and actionable, form free of political constraint. The study area is not yet finalised. Broadly, it must be an area which I can fully conceive in my own right with the tools available to me. However, broadly speaking it should conform to the hectare square grid used in Australia with a resolution to 100mm x 100mm squares fortunately there are a lot of big trees. By the end of the process I should know them all, by name along with the understory species, grasses and shrubs; the water quality and condition, weed infestation, …
No small task, and frankly I think it’s a bit pointless, for my money the religious, mercantile and military triad will, by way of democratically anointed leaders, continue to reap havoc on the world and this area, like so many others will be lost, probably to a combination of deforestation, desertification and pollution. So be it; I can only try and the only tools I have to hand are the disparate silo’s of public information, virtually no scientific data relevant to the area. I reconcile the losses with the thought that at least I am trying. While my approach may be considered non traditional, perhaps eccentric I remind myself that the traditional is what led us to the state of despair in the first place, and seemingly lacks the capacity to lead us out.