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|Title:||Living with bushfire: Recognising ecological sophistication to manage risk while retaining biodiversity values|
|Citation:||International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 2018; 27:459-469|
|E. Moskwa, D. K. Bardsley, D. Weber, G. M. Robinson|
|Abstract:||As peri-urban housing development extends into areas of high risk and conservation value, policy makers and landholders are challenged with two seemingly opposing objectives: the need to mitigate for bushfire risk and the desire to preserve and enhance local biodiversity. To explore this conflict, a mixed methods approach comprising a postal survey, interviews and focus group discussions with local residents was undertaken in two communities in South Australia, namely the Mount Lofty Ranges and Lower Eyre Peninsula. Our results suggest residents have a strong appreciation of the need for prescribed fire and a reflection of biodiversity values when deliberating on conservation and bushfire risk mitigation. In fact, nearly 90% of residents suggest that biodiversity conservation is important to consider in bushfire prevention policy. In-depth discussions elaborate on residents’ detailed understandings of their local ecological situations, which suggests they are open to a more sophisticated ecological debate on this topic than decision-makers may realise. Residents were generally supportive of current vegetation management but raised particular detailed concerns with current practice in their localities. Peri-urban residents are well placed to appreciate a more sophisticated policy approach that considers all stakeholders and varying priorities, and would welcome communication that informs and engages while presenting the management alternatives within local contexts.|
|Keywords:||Bushfire risk; biodiversity conservation; peri-urban development; planning; South Australia|
|Rights:||© 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.|
|Appears in Collections:||Ecology, Evolution and Landscape Science publications|
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