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The Development of an Ecosystem Services Framework for South East Queensland


Extensive research has been conducted globally into conceptual frameworks for ecosystem services, the most notable being the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (Millennium ecosystem assessment: ecosystems and human well-being; a framework for assessment. World Resources Institute, Washington, DC, pp 51, 53–55, 2005). The South East Queensland (SEQ) Ecosystem Services Framework (Australia) aims to provide the tools to enable government, industry, business, researchers, non-government organizations and land managers to apply the concept of ecosystem services in their planning and management practices. This article describes the Framework and the process that has produced matrices and maps that identify and illustrate the linkages between ecosystems, ecosystem functions, ecosystem services and the community’s well-being. The matrices and maps derived can identify areas in the region where the most ecosystem services are generated. This allows areas to be considered as valuable natural assets of the region, deserving appropriate protection measures or significant offsets if they are diminished or degraded in any way. Although the Framework requires further refinement and ongoing development, the process applied and the products produced has enabled decision makers to turn the concept of ecosystem services into practical application in SEQ.

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The SEQ Ecosystem Services Project is a collaborative Project coordinated by SEQ Catchments, in collaboration with the Queensland Department of Infrastructure and Planning and the University Sunshine Coast. The Project has received financial support from the Federal Government through the Natural Heritage Trust, Queensland Government agencies including the Department of Infrastructure and Planning and the Environmental Protection Agency, and Brisbane City Council. Technical support has been received from Brisbane Regional Environment Council. This research is also conducted as part of the requirements of a PhD candidature of the Project Officer, Simone Maynard, supported by a scholarship from the Australian National University. The authors would like to thank all the participants who have assisted in the development of the Framework. We particularly thank Mik Petter and Melanie Cox for their helpful comments in the development of this article and their inputs throughout the Project. We gratefully acknowledge the advice of two anonymous referees whose comments and suggestions have led to significant re-drafting and improvement of our article.

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Correspondence to Simone Maynard.

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Maynard, S., James, D. & Davidson, A. The Development of an Ecosystem Services Framework for South East Queensland. Environmental Management 45, 881–895 (2010).

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  • Ecosystems
  • Ecosystem functions
  • Ecosystem services
  • Human wellbeing
  • Millennium Ecosystem Assessment
  • South East Queensland
  • Regional land-use planning