Max Finlayson

Max Finlayson
Charles Sturt University · Institute for Land, Water & Society

Doctor of Philosophy

About

342
Publications
154,808
Reads
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13,738
Citations
Citations since 2016
150 Research Items
9044 Citations
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Introduction
Current research interests include the assessment and description of ecological change in wetlands, and how this may be affected by climate change.
Additional affiliations
December 2007 - present
Charles Sturt University
Position
  • Managing Director

Publications

Publications (342)
Article
In this article, we use an autoethnographic approach to explore relationships between landholders and government agencies and natural resource management projects. We use this exploration to argue for a holistic, collaborative approach to decision making around the implementation of biodiversity conservation on private and public land. This approac...
Article
Full-text available
The 'Ramsar' Convention on Wetlands was the first of the modern era global biodiversity conventions and remains the only multilateral environmental agreement focused on a single group of ecosystem types. At the time of initial discussions within the wetland conservation science community in the late 1960s, its ambition was unprecedented, with no su...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Transformation of agricultural practices and systems is needed to reverse the trend of wetland loss and degradation, while simultaneously providing food for the increasing human population and maintaining adequate food production in a time of rapid environmental change. Wetlands are part of the agricultural system – they provide water for crops, li...
Article
Wetlands, already declining worldwide because of human activities, are at increasing risk from climate change. Despite the Ramsar Convention requirement to maintain the ecological character of wetlands listed as internationally important, there is little guidance for wetland managers to actually do this, let alone plan for and implement adaptation...
Article
This article has been developed from the presentations made in the Society of Wetland Scientists (SWS) Ramsar Section’s symposium during the SWS virtual conference on December 3, 2020. It sets out a variety of challenges faced by wetlands and prposes a vision for their future.
Chapter
Despite the abundant evidence of benefits for conservation, climate mitigation, and human livelihoods, wetlands globally remain under pressure of loss and degradation. Such pressures are particularly prevalent in the tropics, where institutional capacity for management and protection can be limited. This chapter outlines some key features of tropic...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Wetlands are one of the world’s most important ecosystems. Covering over 1.5 billion hectares they sustain people, biodiversity, cultural traditions and help to regulate the environment. Conserving and enhancing the natural capital of wetlands, in line with the strategic objectives of the Convention on Wetlands, is critical to achieve the Sustainab...
Article
The Andalusian International University held a workshop entitled Temporary wetlands’ future in drylands under the projected global change scenario in March 2020 in Baeza, Spain, with 26 participants from 10 countries. The workshop objectives were to promote international cooperation and scientific exchange on the conservation and protection of temp...
Article
Despite substantial advances in quantifying greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from dry inland waters, existing estimates mainly consist of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. However, methane (CH4) may also be relevant due to its higher Global Warming Potential (GWP). We report CH4 emissions from dry inland water sediments to i) provide a cross-continenta...
Article
Full-text available
The proposed Universal Declaration of the Rights of Wetlands is consistent with the principles of the rights of Nature, and reframes the human–wetlands paradigm away from one of degradation and loss to one of ecological sustainability that supports the Web of Life and continued delivery of Nature’s contributions to people. Given the significance of...
Book
Many environmental success stories of recent decades, including legislation to protect species and habitats, terrestrial and marine networks of protected areas, and prohibition of trade in endangered species, are the direct result of European Union or global international treaties. Yet, despite these achievements, the mechanisms of treaties remain...
Article
The lower Murray River (Australia) has been subject to considerable change from human activities, including the conversion of a variable flow system to one with regulated water levels and the conversion of the estuary to a freshwater system. These conditions will face further pressures owing to reduced flows and higher sea levels associated with cl...
Article
Full-text available
The Ramsar Convention (or the Convention on Wetlands), signed in 1971, was one of the first international conservation agreements, promoting global wise use of wetlands. It has three primary objectives: national designation and management of wetlands of international importance; general wise use of wetlands; and international cooperation. We examin...
Chapter
High quality research informed by systems thinking can contribute to positive outcomes in complex, dynamic situations related to managing natural resources such as water. This chapter refers to social-ecological systems thinking to identify characteristics of high quality transdisciplinary research that makes a lasting impact. We primarily draw on...
Article
We reply to the main concerns raised by Bridgewater (2021) in his response to Davies et al. (2021a), ‘Towards a Universal Declaration of the Rights of Wetlands’. We appreciate the contribution of Bridgewater (2021) to this emerging conversation and, although we disagree with some of his assessments and statements, we do not find his points to be in...
Article
Full-text available
Many inland waters exhibit complete or partial desiccation, or have vanished due to global change, exposing sediments to the atmosphere. Yet, data on carbon dioxide (CO 2) emissions from these sediments are too scarce to upscale emissions for global estimates or to understand their fundamental drivers. Here, we present the results of a global surve...
Article
Current approaches to wetland conservation, restoration and protection have failed to stop global loss and deterioration of wetlands. This is leading to the consideration of complementary approaches to augment existing international and national approaches, and could possibly lead to their replacement. Recognition of the inherent rights of wetlands...
Chapter
Lake Chilika was listed as a Ramsar site in 1981 and after a period of ongoing degradation was placed on a register of sites (The Montreux Record of the Ramsar Convention), that are in need of further management and restoration. Following a committed management effort through the Chilika Development Authority the site was restored and an active wis...
Chapter
Describing the ecological character of Chilika has enabled advances in the formal conceptualisations and definition adopted by the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands to be presented, in particular through the inclusion of ecosystem services and governance settings. The evolution of the concept of ecological character is described and related to the para...
Chapter
An ecosystem services-led management of Chilika encourages a progression from a siloed approach to conservation of species and habitats to explicit consideration of benefits humans derive from these ecosystems, enabling anticipation of a wide range of consequences that may result from different management regimes, and provide tools for identifying,...
Article
Full-text available
Citizen science is increasingly recognised as a valuable approach to improve the knowledge and understanding required for robust environmental management. We report on the results of a citizen science survey conducted on the status and trends of over 500 wetlands from across the globe. Whilst many wetlands were reported as being in fair or good eco...
Book
This book chronicles the decades-long work of studying, analyzing, and reversing the environmental pressures that threatened India’s Chilika Lagoon, the largest brackish-water lagoon in the region, and the second largest in the world. Designated as one of India’s first Ramsar Sites in 1981, Chilika Lagoon continued to degrade for a decade longer. T...
Article
We summarise the main findings of the Global Wetland Outlook (2018) about the status of wetlands, including their biota and ecosystem services, the drivers of change in wetlands, and the responses being adopted by the Ramsar Convention. The Outlook, which is the Ramsar Convention's flagship publication, generally paints a bleak picture of wetland s...
Article
The rights of Nature, a concept recognised by several courts, legislatures and international governance institutions, is being promoted by some non-governmental organisations, scientists, attorneys, Indigenous peoples, local communities, and others. In this article we propose a Universal Declaration of the Rights of Wetlands, consistent with the 19...
Article
Ecological character and wise use are central tenets underpinning the Ramsar Convention’s global wetland ambitions. In this paper, we postulate that, given on-going and progressive degradation and destruction of wetlands, these concepts require reframing. So as to overcome the human–nature dualism, which underpins current wetland conservation, we p...
Article
We assessed trends in the ecological character of wetlands generally and of Ramsar Sites reported in 2011, 2014 and 2017 by the Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands in their national reports. There was more widespread deterioration than improvement in the ecological character of wetlands generally, with deterioration increasingl...
Article
Full-text available
We review the mechanisms established by the Ramsar Convention for reporting on the status and change in the ecological character of wetlands. We assess the extent of their implementation and compliance, but not issues of the adequacy of their design nor the consequences of their extent of implementation. We conclude that, with the exception of qual...
Article
Aquatic ecosystems are exposed to a host of anthropogenic stressors whose combined effect can be synthesized with cumulative stress indices. The reliability of cumulative stress indices depends primarily on: 1) stressor incidence maps derived from remote sensing or modeling but rarely validated against on-the-ground observations , and 2) the weight...
Article
Full-text available
Managing rivers and sharing their benefits is largely dependent on stakeholder values and knowledge, expressed through policy, governance and institutions. Adaptive management is essentially a social learning process, which can provide a tool to navigate the ‘wickedness’ of contemporary social-ecological challenges. This research applied an interpr...
Chapter
Earth’s ecosystems are no longer pristine areas (i.e., historical ecosystems); rather, they have been altered by human beings who have used them as sources of goods and services. While doing this, they have modified their ecological structure and introduced non-native species resulting in emerging or novel ecosystems. In this chapter, we discuss th...
Article
Full-text available
The Australian Government is considering Cyprinid herpesvirus 3 (CyHV-3) for biocontrol of invasive common carp (Cyprinus carpio L.). We review the evidence-base for its potential ecological risks, benefits and effectiveness. Lower carp abundance may boost native fish biomass and improve water clarity, but there is little evidence available to sugg...
Article
Restoration programmes for degraded aquatic ecosystems frequently focus on flow restoration or reinstatement, including recovery targets for volumes of water to be used for environmental benefit. Australia's Murray–Darling Basin is an example of a major system undergoing substantial water reform to balance the needs of competing users, including th...
Article
Knowledge about the distribution and diversity of wetlands has become an essential tool for environmental management and policy-making. Yet, while recent estimates indicate that 27% of the area of Colombia is covered by wetlands and despite a number of regional studies, information about the diversity of wetlands nationally is scarce. In response,...
Article
Global and regional areas and trends in area of unvegetated tidal flats, salt marshes, mangroves and seagrass beds are updated and corrected from those published in Davidson and Finlayson (2018). The global area of coastal wetlands is now estimated as a minimum of 1.42 Â 10 6 km 2 , ,8.9-9.5% of an updated global wetland area of 15.0 × 10 6-16.0 Â...
Article
In this study, we have re-estimated the 2011 global monetary values of natural wetland ecosystem services using new information on the areas of different coastal and inland wetland classes, and included estimates for forested wetlands. The 2011 global monetary value of natural wetland ecosystem services is now estimated at Int$47.4 trillion per yea...
Chapter
In this chapter we review techniques that managers may use to respond to climate change. First, modelling the impacts of climate change on freshwater ecosystems are discussed. While hydro-climatic projections can be used their imprecision requires the selection of robust adaptation options that provide benefits under a range of possible climate out...
Article
Wetlands play an important role in the provision of important ecosystem services like the provision of clean water to the world, adaptation to climate change, and support for biodiversity; although they are sometimes also associated with adverse climate effects. Wetlands are, however, currently grossly underrepresented in global environmental model...
Article
Indicators of status and trends in wetland extent are essential for monitoring progress towards the environmental targets set by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. Here, we test the value of the Wetland Extent Trends (WET) index as an updatable...
Article
Full-text available
New evidence of impacts by feral horses in Australia's alpine parks systems confirms they endanger threatened species and extensively damage critically endangered bog communities that could take millennia to recover. These impacts are not confounded by effects of deer and accumulate over time, even when only a small number of feral horses (~100) ar...
Article
Egg and larval fish drifting downstream are likely to encounter river infrastructure leading to mortality. Elevated fluid shear is one likely cause. To confirm this and determine tolerable strain rates resulting from fluid shear, egg and larvae of three Australian species were exposed to a high-velocity, submerged jet in a laboratory flume. Mortali...
Article
Full-text available
Irrigated agriculture and inland fisheries both make important contributions to food security, nutrition, livelihoods and wellbeing. Typically, in modern irrigation systems, these components operate independently. Some practices, commonly associated with water use and intensification of crop production can be in direct conflict with and have advers...
Chapter
Freshwater ecosystems are found on all continents comprising many different types and sizes; and defined and classified in different ways. The hydrologic regime influences the many physical and chemical features of freshwater ecosystems and has temporal and dynamic dimensions for flowing (rivers—lotic systems) and standing waters (lakes and ponds—l...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter highlights opportunities and challenges associated with integrated management of wetlands at the catchment and landscape scale. It discusses the fragmented nature of many catchments, and the low priority given to wetlands, in spite of their important ecological functions and valuable ecosystem services. By highlighting the need for hol...
Chapter
Freshwater ecosystems provide many ecosystem services for people who use them directly as well as indirectly both through using wetland products and through passive activities associated with the existence of the ecosystem. Despite these benefits being widely recognised through international processes and national or local analyses, many freshwater...
Chapter
Freshwater systems are continuously shaped by cyclical and directional forces of change, whether they be natural or anthropogenic. Beyond gradual transitions disturbances can reset their internal dynamics generating an abrupt ecological shift. Long-term data sets of gradual or abrupt change can be accessed by exhuming the physical, chemical, and bi...
Article
Full-text available
This study presents a new global baseline of mangrove extent for 2010 and has been released as the first output of the Global Mangrove Watch (GMW) initiative. This is the first study to apply a globally consistent and automated method for mapping mangroves, identifying a global extent of 137,600 km 2 . The overall accuracy for mangrove extent was 9...
Technical Report
Full-text available
There is a growing awareness that data obtained from Earth Observation (EO) has the potential to provide the information needed for accurate wetland inventory, assessment and monitoring, and for updating a number of data fields in the Ramsar Sites Information Sheets (RIS). The latter includes: the physical features of the wetland, the presence and...
Book
Freshwater ecosystems have the greatest species diversity per unit area and many endangered species. This book shows that, rather than being a marginal part of terrestrial protected area management, freshwater conservation is central to sustaining global biodiversity. It focuses on better practices for conserving inland aquatic ecosystems in protec...
Article
We compiled available data and information on the global and regional areas (Ramsar regions), and changes in area, of 22 classes of marine or coastal and inland wetlands. From those classes for which there is information, inland natural surface wetlands (forming ,77% of total surface wetland extent) are dominated by non-forested peatlands, marshes...
Article
Full-text available
The Second Warning to Humanity provides a clarion call for wetland researchers and practitioners given the loss and degradation of wetlands, the declining availability of fresh water, and the likely consequences of climate change. A coordinated response and approach to policies has the potential to prevent further degradation and support resilient...
Article
The National Agricultural Productivity & Reconciliation Ecology Centre (NAPREC) held its inaugural conference in Deniliquin in the southern Murray–Darling Basin, NSW, Australia, 4–5 October 2017, and attracted an engaged group of farmers, researchers, industry and government representatives. The theme of the conference was ‘Positive Partnerships fo...
Chapter
Wetlands and the ecosystem services they provide are hugely valuable to people worldwide in many ways: for livelihood, for their biodiversity and existence values and for their economic benefits. Yet many of these services, such as the recharge of groundwater, water purification or cultural values are not immediately obvious when one looks at a wet...
Chapter
The Wetland Book 1 is designed as a 'first port-of-call' reference work for information on the structure and functions of wetlands, current approaches to wetland management, and methods for researching and understanding wetlands. Contributions by experts summarize key concepts, orient the reader to the major issues, and support further research on...
Chapter
The Ecosystem Services Partnership was launched in 2008. It comprises both insti- tutional and individual members. The Partnership has more than 50 organization and more than 400 individual members and comprise the main organizations involved in ecosystem services science, policy, and practice. The governance structure is designed to develop the Pa...
Chapter
The North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP) is an international plan established in 1986 by Canda and the United States with Mexico joining later. The purpose of the partnership established by the NAWMP is to conserve and protect wetland and upland habitats and associated waterfowl populations by connecting people with nature. It was estab...
Chapter
The Chilika Development Authority in collaboration with Wetlands International -South Asia developed a management framework for the conservation and wise use of Lake Chilika in Odisha State in eastern India. The management framework represents the commitment of multiple stakeholders to support the wise use of the Lake that was listed as a wetland o...
Chapter
The term "wetland" groups together a range of largely aquatic habitats that usually have a number of common features, such as the presence of specific vegetation, soils, and water regimes, including the occurrence of continuous, seasonal, or periodic standing water or saturated soils. Most approaches used around the world to classify wetlands are r...
Chapter
The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) is an international nongovernmental organization that was founded in 1961 and is based in Switzerland. It was formerly called the World Wildlife Fund, which remains the official name in Canada and the United States, and was changed in 1986 to better reflect the scope of its activities. In 2001 the original acron...
Chapter
The term "wetland law and policy" refers to the legally related rules developed by governments that pertain to activities that affect wetlands. When used in a general sense, wetland law and policy encompasses a broad range of instruments, including "..legislation, such as statutes, acts, decrees, and ordinances; regulations and other rules promulga...
Chapter
TEEB is a recent initiative that draws attention to the economic benefits of biodiversity globally. Its objective is to highlight the cost of the loss and degradation of biodiversity, including species and ecosystems. The initiative provides information that can help decision-makers recognize and demonstrate the values of biodiversity and support p...
Chapter
The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) was initiated in 2001 with the objective being to assess the consequences of ecosystem change for human wellbeing and the scientific basis for action needed to enhance the conservation and sustainable use of those systems. The outcomes were presented in five technical volumes and six synthesis reports. The c...
Chapter
The Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) was established in 2012, as an independent intergovernmental body open to all member countries of the United Nations. It has been developed as the leading intergovernmental body for assessing the state of biodiversity, including its ecosys- tems and the ecosystem services...
Chapter
The Ramsar Convention's typology of wetlands was adopted in 1990 along with an information sheet for describing Ramsar sites. The typology was loosely based on the Classification of Wetlands and Deepwater Habitats of the United States and referred to the definition of wetlands adopted by the Convention in 1972. Given the breadth of the definition t...
Chapter
Projected changes in the climate are expected to increase temperatures, modify precipitation, raise sea levels, and increase extreme climate events with large impacts on wetlands, including their occurrence and extent, vegetation structure, ecological processes and functions, as well as the livelihoods and wellbeing of the people that depend on the...
Chapter
This chapter provides a general outline of the features of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) and their relevance to wetlands. General features of the impact of climate change on wetlands are not considered. © Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Spri...
Chapter
In response to the requirements of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands to ensure the wise use of wetlands, the Australian government developed a framework policy for the cooperative management of wetlands. This comprised a federal policy and an expectation that the state/territory jurisdictions would develop their own policies. The principal aim of t...
Chapter
The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is a membership-based nongovernmental organization with headquarters in the USA. It has more than one million members and addresses conservation issues across many landscapes and ecosystems, including rivers and wetlands, as well as coastal and marine systems. It works globally to ensure the conservation and restoration...
Chapter
The Okavango Delta Management Plan was developed by the Botswana Department of Environmental Affairs in cooperation with a large number of stakeholders and partners. The department is responsible for the overall coordination of environmental activities in Botswana. It also coordinates environmental research, undertakes environmental education, and...
Book
In discussion with Ramsar’s Max Finlayson and Nick Davidson, and several members of the Society of Wetland Scientists, Springer is proposing the development of a new Encyclopedia of Wetlands, a comprehensive resource aimed at supporting the trans- and multidisciplinary research and practice which is inherent to this field. Aware both that wetlands...
Chapter
Ducks Unlimited (DU) is a large private organization that promotes the conservation and restoration of waterfowl and wetlands. It had its beginnings in the aftermath of a report by the More Game Birds in America Foundation in 1935 that recognized the importance of wetlands in Canada for conserving waterfowl in North America. This led to the formati...
Chapter
Despite increasing awareness of the importance of wetland ecosystem services and an increase in the number of countries with policies aimed at preventing degradation and destruction of wetlands, effective protection and restoration is often constrained by the limited capacity of governmental and non-governmental organizations responsible for wetlan...
Chapter
The term "wetland center" encompasses a range of facilities, ranging from small centers to larger centers with a range of facilities, possibly including a dedicated visitor center, classroom facilities, and curriculum-based education services for young children to postgraduate students. They may be owned or operated by a variety of public or privat...
Article
Full-text available
Part 1 of this review synthesizes recent research on status and climate vulnerability of freshwater and saltwater wetlands, and their contribution to addressing climate change (carbon cycle, adaptation, resilience). Peatlands and vegetated coastal wetlands are among the most carbon rich sinks on the planet sequestering approximately as much carbon...