Simone Maynard, SEQ Catchments Limited – Ecosystems Services in Queensland



Dunwich, NSI Historical Museum

Right now Simone is talking about how the State Government and how it analyses the service nature provides, and why they should be valued and safeguarded.

Models are built for all 32 ecosystems that function in South East Queensland like beaches, wetlands, rainforests, etc. Maps had to be designed that would show all the instances of the 32 ecosystems. They all need to function to continue to deliver goods and services to the inhabitants of Queensland, with different datasets creating different pathways for different functions: vegetation on streambanks function to stop erosion. Disturbance regulation is of the utmost importance. These are called Ecosystems service maps.

So who are the beneficiaries of these goods and services that nature delivers? This is what Simone focuses on in her work. Recognizing different ecosystems helps to support and recognize cultural diversity and maintain spiritual values, adding to our wellbeing, because we don’t really make our decisions in life based on money values but on what’s good for our family and communities. Determining wellbeing is the subject of community workshops that Simone runs throughout south east Queensland.

Context dependent values are relevant to defining values relating to the environment as well as locational dependent. Asking which are the services are most important to you. It’s all about prioritization, risks, losses to whomever may lose from certain decisions.

Top five ecosystem services can include (according to the experts): habitable climate, water quality, knowledge systems, reduction of pests ans deseases, buffering against extremes.

Redlands Community said – habitable climate, water quality, air quality, water quality and productive soils.


Dunwich Historical Museum




Sperm Whale Jaw Skeleton exhibit at Dunwich Museum

 So the idea of identifying natural infrastructure (much like valuing manmade infrastructure) is not about biodiversity, but is assesses different plans for maintaining — What has Nature done for you today? And what have you done for Nature today?

A question comes from the audience- are we sliding into valuing everything in terms of dollar amounts. Simone says that the valuation she is using is in terms of valuing ‘wellbeing.’

Putting nature into a utility price is to be avoided. The State government will put its valuation into dollar amounts.

Question from audience – I wonder if workshops have to come from reclaiming effectively the holistic ecological commons and let the governments follow that – don’t depend upon the government to be the lead player.

Simone says that Planners have to constantly trade-off between the many interests involved in planning what is done with the land.

Question – elected reps are very often the most compromised in not being able to deliver to the very people who have elected them.

Simone – an economist’s values and an ecologist’s values are so different. The community often doesn’t understand how vast the community planning process is.




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