Integrated assessment of public investment in land-use change to protect environmental assets in Australia

A framework for comprehensive integrated assessment of environmental projects is developed and applied in partnership with a regional environmental body. The framework combines theory with practice, bringing a pragmatic and efficient approach to the rigorous assessment of projects for a large number of environmental assets in the north central region of the state of Victoria, Australia. Key features of the study include extensive participation of decision makers and stakeholders, integration of a comprehensive set of information about projects, explicit assessment of uncertainties and information gaps, and analysis of the most appropriate policy mechanism for each project. The process of applying the framework involved four steps: identification of around 300 important environmental assets in the region, filtering the list of assets to remove those that are less likely to provide opportunities for cost effective public investment, development and detailed assessment of projects for a subset of assets, and negotiation of funding for projects. The analysis assisted the environmental body to make strong business cases for a number of environmental projects, resulting in funding for those projects. Implications for land-use policy include that environmental projects vary widely in their cost-effectiveness, requiring careful targeting of funds if environmental benefits are to be maximised. Many existing environmental programs use simplistic analyses to support decision making, resulting in missed opportunities for substantially greater environmental benefits. Promoting adoption of improved analytical methods is very challenging, requiring changes in mind-set and culture in environmental organisations. Widespread adoption is unlikely unless funders create incentives by rewarding those project proponents who undertake rigorous and comprehensive project assessments that focus on achievement of environmental outcomes.

Issue Date:
Jan 11 2011
Publication Type:
Working or Discussion Paper
DOI and Other Identifiers:
Record Identifier:
PURL Identifier:
Total Pages:
JEL Codes:
Q20; Q50
This is a pre-publication version of: Pannell, D.J., Roberts, A.M., Park, G., Alexander, J., Curatolo, A. and Marsh, S. (2012). Integrated assessment of public investment in land-use change to protect environmental assets in Australia, Land Use Policy 29(2): 377-387.
Series Statement:
Working paper

 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2019-10-21

Download fulltext

Rate this document:

Rate this document:
(Not yet reviewed)