Lillian Stevens

Lillian Stevens

Lilly is an emerging evaluator who works on range of interdisciplinary projects in the natural resource management sector. At Alluvium and working in collaboration with NCEconomics, Lilly has found her place among environmental engineers, environmental scientists and economists utilising her skills in social research methods. Lilly uses qualitative data to understand and assess social benefits, values, decision-making behaviors and perspectives. Lilly is interested in integrating various knowledge types through monitoring, evaluation and reporting to develop a rich understanding of the shared benefits of environmental assets and support rigorous evidence-based decision making by drawing on a range of data sources.

How To Pass The Pub Test: Strengthening Our Ability To Demonstrate The Socio-economic Benefits Of Resilient Rivers And Catchments

Those who manage our rivers, catchments and water resources operate in a complex, uncertain and often politicised environment. In response to these challenges, robust systems of monitoring, evaluation and reporting (MER) are crucial to demonstrate the shared benefits of resilient rivers and catchments, and to support good decision making.

While great progress has been made in this area, existing MER frameworks have tended to focus on biophysical elements with a narrow scope for social and economic benefits. In 2019, we are still trying to understand how we can appropriately measure and present a full picture of the contribution that healthy resilience ecosystems make to achieving shared benefits across social, economic and environmental systems when there is not an agreed approach for doing this across jurisdictions.

So what tools do we have available to improve our capacity to do this? In 2012, the United Nations formally published their System of Environment Economic Accounting (SEEA) framework, and more recently application of this framework has begun to emerge in Australia as a strategy for environmental reporting, adopted both federally and through various state government departments.

This presentation examines the applicability and value of the SEEA framework in an Australian river management context. More specifically it explores: What are the benefits of a systematic and standardised logical framing? Can this framework truly integrate scientific, social and economic data in a realistic and meaningful way? What are the opportunities to expand our understanding of social and economic benefits beyond recreational and indigenous cultural benefits? What are some of the existing limitations and constraints to adopt this framework? And, recognising these limitations, what are some potential solutions/alternatives to improve the integration of social and economic considerations into river and catchment management decision-making?

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