National Wetlands Update February 2013
Issue No. 22, February 2013
Development of the Wetland Tender metric
Dr Andrea White, Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment
Wetland Tender is a method that is used to assess and compare bids from landholders for works that aim to improve the condition of wetlands on private land. Wetland Tender identifies projects that represent the best value for money, while ensuring that the wetlands in the best condition and with the highest values get priority for funding. Early in 2012, the Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment began a process to review the method and calculators that form the basis of the Wetland Tender metric.
The Wetland Tender metric is used to predict the increase in condition expected from specific landholder interventions (the 'gain'). The first version of the Wetland Tender metric was developed in 2010, and has been used extensively in Market Based Instrument (MBI) projects.
The review of the metric identified a number of areas for improvement. The metric takes into account only a limited number of management actions and the actions are not linked to all the wetland functional components that could be improved by the intervention. Index of Wetland Condition (IWC) data is used to inform condition of the candidate wetlands; however, the current metric does not make use of the full range of IWC data collected. The current metric also tends to reduce the threat score to zero when a management intervention is proposed regardless of the level of threat or the amount of intervention.
The redevelopment of the metric will make improvements in these areas. The full range of possible management interventions will be included, based on the findings of a recently completed conceptual model project which identifies a comprehensive list of management activities that reduce threats to wetland values.
The management interventions will be closely mapped to the relevant condition measures. This will enable a gain to be scored for all of the activities that the landholder proposes to undertake and ensure that where an activity is likely to affect several system components, this is reflected in the gain calculation. The magnitude of the improvement in condition from a given level of management intervention will reflect our best understanding of the system response, and will be probabilistic, ie the likelihood of a range different outcomes will be estimated. For more information on this work please contact Andrea White (email@example.com).
Wetland Tender metric uses the gain expected from the proposed management actions, the significance of the site and the percentage of the wetland under management to calculate the overall Wetland Tender score. The final step in the process is to consider the cost of the proposed management actions, before comparing bids from different landowners.
(Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment)