Month: October 2021

Money Can’t Buy Love Value Price On A Tree

What does it mean to be worth something? What is the dollar value of a river, forest, or reef? It mean when one report says the Great Barrier Reef is worth A$56billion and another states that it is practically priceless?

This contrast shows fundamentally different ideas of value. To better balance competing priorities in resource management, environmental accounting allows you to recognize and compare multiple sources of value.

It is often crude in practice, but it has been standardise internationally. The scope of its benefits is expanding to include intrinsic, social, and cultural benefits.

We have used environmental accounting to examine the tall, humid forests in Victoria’s Central Highlands. This has allowed us to evaluate the economic arguments for both continuing the native timber harvesting and the creation of a Great Forest National Park. We’ll first explain what environmental accounting is and how it prices trees.

What Value Matters

Environmental accounting is essentially the identification of the environmental contributions to the economy. This is summarize as gross domestic product (GDP). The Australian Bureau of Statistics in Australia standardises these contributions and reports them in the System of National Accounts. The Bureau also produces environmental accounting that provide additional information, such as: water, energy and greenhouse gas emissions.

There are many other things that have value and should be include in calculations, such as positive social and environmental outcomes. This framework allows researchers to examine the value of various ecosystem services, which are the contributions of ecosystems and our wellbeing. It is not limited to goods and services that are include in national or environmental accounts.

Businesses and homeowners pay a fee for water delivery. However, the supplier does not pay for water that enters the dam. Water is an ecosystem service that forests and the environment provide. We can calculate the ecosystem service value of water provisioning by assessing the costs of the water supply industry.

Victoria’s Central Highlands Value Are Worth It

The Central Highlands of Victoria are under attack. There are many claims and counter-claims between those who support native timber production and those concerned about the impact of logging on water supply and climate change.

For the first time, our research has directly compared the environmental and economic values of this ecosystem. It is clear that the creation of a Great Forest National Park is a better investment.

There will be benefits and losses for different groups and people with any changes in land management. These trade-offs can be difficult to assess, especially with inconsistent and patchy data.

We analyzed all available data and calculated the annual contribution of each industry to GDP through careful accounting. These figures were calculate for 2013-14. (There is no market for carbon in Australia’s native forests – more details in a moment.

This is far more than the A$12million native timber production. Timber production is an old industry, but its contribution to regional economies is small.

Primary production is define as agriculture, forestry, and water supply. This classification covers all economic activities and is mutually exclusive. There is no overlap between categories. The downstream uses of products from agriculture, forest, and water supply are important to be consider for all industries. However, they are not included in ecosystem accounts.

The Older Forests Are More Valuable

Clear fell harvesting is used to remove the majority of trees from the site. Slash burning uses high-intensity fires to burn logging residue, and create an ash bed for the regeneration. Regenerating forests are younger and all trees are the same age as before, and they have lower species diversity.

These young forests are less important for biodiversity, carbon storage and water supply, as well as recreation. This means that harvesting native timber will require a compromise between the conflicting activities.

More than 60% of the Central Highlands’ native timber is used as pulp. Plantations with a higher efficiency and greater use of recycled paper can replace this. Both hardwood and softwood plantations can supply substitute sawlogs.

Native forest harvesting would be eliminated, and the losses of A$12million per year to the industry would be offset by increases in water supply value and carbon storage. It would most likely also increase profits in the tourism and plantation timber industries.

Older trees require less water than younger regrowth. Allowing native forests to age would increase supply to Melbourne’s main reservoirs by approximately 10.5 gigalitres annually. This is worth A$8million per year. With projected drops in rainfall and streamflow, security of water supply to Melbourne’s growing population is a concern.

Regrowth Forests Value

Older forests store more carbon than regrowth forests. Although the federal government does not recognize native forest management as a valid activity for carbon trading under its Emission Reduction Fund, carbon credits could be earned by forests worth A$13million per year if they are. This would allow for an affordable and ongoing source of carbon abatement. The money could then use by Australia to reduce its emissions targets. Meanwhile, the Victorian government could benefit from the money to help the industry transition.

Economic benefit is one way to look at land. The Central Highlands are home to a unique flora, fauna and geology that can’t be duplicate (and is in danger). However, careful environmental accounting can help to clearly define the trade-offs between different activities.

This is especially important for legacy industries such as native timber harvesting, which are no longer economically or environmentally sustainable. Accounting reveals the current mix benefits and costs. This allows for a rethink in management.

Heat Waves Become More Extreme Jobs Are Riskiest

In most Australian regions, heat is more dangerous than cold. Between 2006 and 2017, heat was responsible for approximately 2% of all deaths in Australia. This number rises to over 4% in the central and northern parts of the country.

Actually, Australian death records underreport the relationship between heat and mortality at least 50-fold. Chronic heat stress also not report.

While the risk is greater in certain regions, it doesn’t matter where you live. Heat is more dangerous than others, which puts workers at greater risk of injury.

Who Is Most At Heat Risk?

One study compared the workers’ compensation claims in Adelaide between 2003 and 2013. The study found that workers are at greater risk in extreme heat.

  • Animal and horticultural workers
  • Cleaners
  • food service workers
  • metal workers
  • Warehouse workers.

Hot weather poses a greater threat than cold weather, according to the authors. This is especially concerning as hot days are project to increase.

Another study that involved many of the same researchers examined the effects of heatwaves in relation to work-related injuries, illnesses and deaths in Melbourne, Perth, and Brisbane. The study found that vulnerable groups were:

  • males
  • Workers under 34 years of age
  • Apprentice/trainee workers
  • labour hire workers
  • Those who are employed in heavy and medium strength occupations and
  • Workers from both the indoor and outdoor industrial sectors.
  • An analysis of workplace injuries in Melbourne was done between 2002 and 2012.

On hot days, young workers, male workers, and those who do heavy physical work are more at risk than other workers. A wider range of worker subgroups is also at greater risk after a warm night. This information is crucial in order to inform injury prevention strategies, especially considering climate change projections.

Adelaide Heat Study

An Adelaide study that used data from 2001 to 2010 found that young workers under 24 years old were more at risk for work-related injuries in hot environments. Temperature and daily injury claims were strong in the case of labourers, tradespeople, intermediate production, and transport workers. These workers do jobs like operating machinery and vehicles to transport passengers.

The most at-risk industries were agriculture, fishing, construction, and forestry. The links between occupational injuries and heat exposure were examined in a systematic review and meta-analysis involving 24 studies.

Hot temperatures pose a high risk for young workers, male workers, and those in construction, forestry, fishing, and agriculture. Additional occupational injuries were also possible for young workers, male workers and workers in the electricity, gas, water and manufacturing industries.

Many people may be surprised to learn that trainees and apprentices suffered more heat-related injuries at work. This is because heat tolerance decreases with age. Younger workers are at greater risk due to their exposure to labour intensive work, lack of experience in managing heat stress and the tendency to not acknowledge that they are affect by heat.

Risk Factors Include

International research is showing that extreme heat can lead to severe health problems.

Age, low socioeconomic status and homelessness are all factors that can increase heat vulnerability. It is also important to consider the region; there are variations between climate zones, and more heat-related morbidity in rural settings.

Heat-related illnesses and deaths can be exacerbate by health conditions. These conditions may include

  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Heart conditions
  • Conditions that can affect the respiratory system.

Heat exposure can cause serious health problems. This includes irreversible and chronic kidney damage. Numerous studies have shown that higher temperatures are link to suicide rates, more mental illnesses, and worse mental health.

We Must Better Understand The Problem

The majority of these studies focused on worker’s claims for compensation. This data only includes injuries for which claims have been made. The problem is more widespread than that.

While the Australian studies were primarily focus on milder climates, injuries and illnesses are higher in hotter and more humid areas. The dangers could be even greater in remote and regional areas, especially when workers are temporary.

Further research is need to determine if workers health and their exposure to higher temperatures over longer periods of time (in hours or in days) are related.

Studies in other countries or national studies should examine whether injury rates differ depending on occupation, climate zone, and location. It is vital to collect data on all types of workplace injuries, not just those that resulted in a claim for compensation, to understand the extent of the problem.

As heatwaves and climate change become more severe and frequent, it is vital that we understand who is most at risk and what we can do to reduce their risk.

Afford To Forget Smaller Businesses When Negotiating

Many politicians cite afford high market value exports to justify free trade agreements. This misses the point of trade. We benefit more when we export the goods and services. That we are most efficient at making, than increasing their absolute value.

International trade success is determine by a firm’s productivity and not its export market value. This is why small and medium-sized Australian businesses have been able to endure and thrive.

These businesses still account for less that 5% of total exports. Smaller businesses were traditionally thought to less productive that larger businesses. But, success in domestic sales can also be a contributing factor to export market success.

Home Is Not Productive Afford

You won’t be able to survive if your home is not productive. Despite their small and medium-sized contribution to total exports, they contribute more than half of the nation’s output.

This large difference is apparent in many sectors. This is evident in the Australian agriculture, forestry, and fishing sectors. About 92% of the sector’s domestic sales are made up of small and medium-sized businesses.

Despite this, small businesses only account for 14% of exports from the sector. There is a significant gap between exports and domestic sales. One must ask what can done to encourage exports by Australia’s small and medium-size businesses.

The concept of comparative advantages is the key to economic success. A business can gain international trade benefits. If it concentrates its efforts on exporting a product or service it produces better than its competitors.

It has proven that government policies that encourage foreign direct investments abroad, the integration of value chains and domestic regulations that support international trade, best suite to accomplish this. Policy makers often forget this because they focus on the big numbers more than the big picture.

The importance of comparative advantages underpins the idea that Australia’s agriculture and forestry sectors are the biggest winners from the revitalized Trans-Pacific Partnership (the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership). However, this is not the case for Australian exporters of vegetables and other food products.

Who Benefits From Trade?

If you place the emphasis on the big numbers in the debate about free trade and not on the bigger picture, the debate about free trade focuses on the legitimacy of the economic principle that international commerce can make everyone more prosperous also known by gains from trading.

This assumption is not always true. Special interest groups may sometimes ensure that there will be a surge of protectionist or free market sentiments across policy-making circles.

For the average, hardworking Australian small or medium-sized business owner, who is not involve in special interest politics and does not care about the question of how many exports are eligible for a free trade deal? these are secondary considerations.

Street-smart entrepreneurs know that it is difficult to produce all goods and services efficiently. They are more interested in the international trade that will benefit their business.

The fallout from a trade conflict between our afford major trading partners is of greater concern to Australia’s small- and medium-sized businesses

You are use to being a fighter if you own a small or medium Australian business. It doesn’t matter how much is done to encourage exports. In the current international climate it may be a good idea to keep your business agile and focus on domestic sales.

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