Privately Protected Area Girl
Today in the Rhodes labgroup meeting we all presented practice talks for the minute thesis competition. This is my attempt, tell me what you think!!
Every kid’s dream is to be a superhero right? Well, my name is Carla Archibald, and am here to teach you how to save the world. I wasn’t born with a typical ‘gift’ like flying or super strength, but I was born with incredible stubbornness, determination and an annoying sense enthusiasm bordering on ADHD. Using these special powers, I am going to take you on a journey to find your superpower and help me save the world.
1) There are half the number of animals in your local park today, then there was 40 years ago and we are looking down the barrel of one of the worst extinction events the world has ever seen. To try and bail out the ever-filling dingy we are sitting in, conservation scientists use protected areas to try and keep nature a float. Throughout history, the Australian government has really strong-armed protected areas as uses them as the main tool to conserve nature and meet international conservation targets. Although, as society has grown and conservation challenges have amplified, governments are now looking beyond public-owned protected areas for alternative solutions.
2) Engaging people like you in land stewardship activities is not a new idea, but helping to permanently protect areas the areas you own, is becoming more appealing to the government, NGOS and to conservation-minded landholders. With the help of dedicated individuals and environmental NGOs, privately protected areas are becoming an important fixture within the natural reserve system in Australia. We now have over 6000 privately protected areas in Australia, although to my surprise very little systematic planning went their establishment or their resource allocation at a national and an individual level.
3) The aim on my PhD is to dig into the enrolment process of privately protected areas in Australia. I am interested in how and why privately protected areas are used at a government level, and how people like you make the decision to adopt a privately protected area. I am using approaches similar to how health scientists track the spread of Ebola or the flu, to help me understand how privately protected area policies spread and what makes them appealing to different types of landholders.
In light of recent global political events *cough, Trump* finding, promoting and nurturing grass-roots private land conservation actions, like privately protected areas, is an important safety-net for the conservation of species and natural areas.
Most of us aren’t born with the super powers, but we are all able to make our own decision to act more environmentally friendly. I urge you to think about what super power you can bring to the table to help save the planet. And who knows maybe one day you will help me, and all the little creatures that call it home, to save a little piece of nature forever.
XOXO PPA girl