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Building capacity in applying community-level modelling

Building capacity in applying community-level modelling to support biodiversity assessment

This project aims to build the capacity of the Department of the Environment and Energy to move to more independent application of generalised dissimilarity modelling (GDM) based analyses to support a range of in-house biodiversity assessment needs.

Biodiversity analyses based on GDM have a demonstrated value in helping inform assessments and decision making relevant to biodiversity. The focus of GDM on community-level patterns provides a unique and holistic perspective on biodiversity that complements the more common focus on individual species. The Department of the Environment and Energy has recognised the value of GDM-based biodiversity analyses, through a variety of projects undertaken with CSIRO over the past eight years that have applied GDM across Australia.

This project works towards the vision of more routine application of GDM-based biodiversity assessments undertaken within the Department of the Environment and Energy. A set of linked activities aim to facilitate improved understanding and skills in implementing the GDM analytical workflow, including the production of a new set of input data, refined GDM models, and priority biodiversity assessments.

A particular focus is being given to scoping the application of GDM-based analyses, such as to help inform the assessment of development proposals and possible offset measures. These analyses have the potential to add significant value to currently applied approaches that are based primarily at the species level.