Louise Boronyak is Senior Research Consultant for the Institute for Sustainable Futures. She has expertise in environmental sustainability and stakeholder engagement. Her research focuses on natural resource management and the intersection of animal welfare and conservation biology. Louise has strong interpersonal skills has experience in designing, facilitating and evaluating stakeholder and community engagement activities.
Louise has worked on a number of research projects that have focused on climate change mitigation and adaption. Her work on the Bushfire Partnership project received a highly commended in the Resilient Australia Awards 2013. This project engaged communities in Sydney to be better prepared to deal with bushfires, while also protecting local biodiversity. In 2012, Louise was part of a team that assisted the North East Greenhouse Alliance (NEGHA) to strengthen community capacity to deal with the impact of climate change on communities in Northern Victoria. She was also as a project manager on the CSIRO Intelligent Grid Research Cluster that promoted the integration of distributed energy technologies in a smarter electricity network.
For the past two and a half years Louise has been working in the Natural Resources research stream of ISF. She is also the General Manager of the newly established Centre for Compassionate Conservation at the University of Technology, Sydney, where she works on projects that aim to conserve biodiversity in a way that does not impact the welfare of individual wild animals. She was formerly the manager of THINKK, the think tank for kangaroos. THINKK conducted independent research and encouraged public discourse on kangaroos in Australia in the areas of welfare, ecology, law and economics.
Prior to working at ISF, Louise gained experience in the private sector in a range of project management roles in green technology and the finance sector. She has worked both in Australia and internationally for startup renewable energy companies.
Jacobs, B, Boronyak, L & Mitchell, P 2019, 'Application of risk-based, adaptive pathways to climate adaptation planning for public conservation areas in NSW, Australia', Climate, vol. 7, no. 4.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
© 2019 by the authors. Globally, areas of high-quality wildlife habitat of significant environmental value are at risk of permanent damage from climate change. These areas represent social-ecological systems that will require increasing management intervention to maintain their biological and socio-cultural values. Managers of protected areas have begun to recognize the inevitability of ecosystem change and the need to embrace dynamic approaches to intervention. However, significant uncertainty remains about the onset and severity of some impacts, which makes planning difficult. For Indigenous communities, there are intrinsic links between cultural heritage and the conservation of place and biodiversity that need to be better integrated in protected area planning and management. In New SouthWales, Australia, management of public conservation reserves and national parks is the responsibility of a State government agency, the National Parks andWildlife Service (NPWS). This paper describes the outcomes of a participatory planning process with NPWS staff to, firstly, identify the options available, the available 'tool kit', to manage biodiversity and cultural heritage in protected areas; secondly, explore how the selection of management actions from the 'tool kit' is associated with the level of climate risk to biodiversity or cultural heritage assets; and thirdly, to understand how the form of individual management actions might adapt to changes in climate risk. Combining these three elements into a series of risk-based, adaptive pathways for conservation of biodiversity and cultural heritage is a novel approach that is currently supporting place-based planning for public conservation areas. Incorporation of the trade-offs and synergies in seeking to effectively manage these discrete but related types of values and the implications for conservation practice are discussed.
Jacobs, B, Boronyak, L, Mitchell, P, Vandenberg, M & Batten, B 2018, 'Towards a climate change adaptation strategy for national parks: Adaptive management pathways under dynamic risk', Environmental Science and Policy, vol. 89, pp. 206-215.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
© 2018 Elsevier Ltd Government seeks to manage public protected areas, such as national parks, to conserve high-quality wildlife habitats and provide essential ecosystems services at risk of permanent damage or extinction from climate change. The complexity of the organizational structure required to deliver this breadth of functions, coupled to uncertainty surrounding the onset and severity of climate impacts at local scale, impedes planning for climate change. This paper describes the development of an adaptation planning tool and its application in a pilot planning process for the National Parks and Wildlife Service, the agency of the New South Wales (NSW) Government (Australia) responsible for management of national parks and public conservation reserves. The process involved close engagement in knowledge co-production in participatory workshops, and employed two complementary techniques, adaptive pathways and risk assessment. It successfully elicited tacit knowledge of agency staff about the range of interventions available, the need for management practices to evolve, and of discontinuities in management pathways in a dynamic risk environment. Findings suggest that management effort across the NSW reserve system will increase as climate risk rises. Consequently, government will need to respond to increased demand for resources, for better targeting of those resources, and for management innovation in how resources are deployed to support adaptation that is both anticipatory and transformative.
Jacobs, B, Boronyak, LJ, Moyle, K & Leith, P 2016, 'Ensuring Resilience of Natural Resources under Exposure to Extreme Climate Events', Resources, vol. 5, no. 2, pp. 1-21.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Natural resources directly support rural livelihoods and underpin much of the wealth of rural and regional Australia. Climate change manifesting as increasing frequency and or severity of extreme weather events poses a threat to sustainable management of natural resources because the recurrence of events may exceed the resilience of natural systems or the coping capacity of social systems. We report the findings of a series of participatory workshops with communities in eight discrete landscapes in South East New South Wales, Australia. The workshops focused on how natural resource management (NRM) is considered in the Prevent-Prepare-Respond-Recover emergency management cycle. We found that NRM is generally considered only in relation to the protection of life and property and not for the intrinsic value of ecosystem services that support communities. We make three recommendations to improve NRM under extreme climate events. Firstly, the support to communities offered by emergency management agencies could be bolstered by guidance material co-produced with government NR agencies. Secondly, financial assistance from government should specifically target the restoration and maintenance of green infrastructure to avoid loss of social-ecological resilience. Thirdly, action by natural resource dependent communities should be encouraged and supported to better protect ecosystem services in preparation for future extreme events.
Boronyak, L & Perry, N 2015, 'Using tradeable permits to improve efficiency, equity and animal protection in the commercial kangaroo harvest', Ecological Economics, vol. 114, no. June 2015, pp. 159-167.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
The utilisation of wildlife creates conflicts between commercial operators, landholders, traditional owners of the land, conservationists and animal protection advocates. Such conflicts are evident in Australia's utilisation of the iconic kangaroo (Macropus) species for their meat and hides. Like many wild animal industries, kangaroos are an open access resource, although restrictions built into the management regime ensure that rents are, approximately, maximised. However, resource allocation decisions and the distribution of rents reflect the values and objectives of the economically powerful stakeholders and particularly commercial processors. Thus, rents are not distributed equitably and the management regime excludes animal protection advocates from adequate participation. Thus, an external cost occurs when kangaroos are harvested that must be internalised for economic efficiency to be achieved. We propose a tradeable permit system where landholders, shooters and processors compete with ordinary citizens for the right to harvest kangaroos. This increases the private cost of harvest and internalises the external cost. It also improves the equity of rent distribution with landholders able to earn a return from kangaroos on their land. As similar issues arise in the utilisation of other wild animals, the research provides an important contribution to the literature on the economics of animal welfare.
Ben-Ami, D, Boom, K, Boronyak, LJ, Townend, C, Ramp, D, Croft, DB & Bekoff, M 2014, 'The welfare ethics of the commercial killing of free-ranging kangaroos: an evaluation of the benefits and costs of the industry', Animal Welfare, vol. 23, no. 1, pp. 1-10.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
The commercial killing of kangaroos provides multiple benefits to society, but also causes both deliberate and unintended harms to kangaroos. The ethics of the kangaroo industry is assessed in terms of whether the assumed benefits justify the welfare costs. An analysis of the stated benefits indicates that killing for damage mitigation is beneficial mainly during drought and not at current levels; that there is a commercial value, although considerably lower than previously estimated, and that demonstrable environmental benefits from commercial killing of kangaroos are lacking; and that the commercial kill may ameliorate the suffering of kangaroos during drought. Welfare practices are very difficult to assess and regulate due to the size and remote nature of the industry. A combination of empirical data on welfare outcomes and inferences drawn from behavioural and reproductive knowledge of the commercially killed species are utilised to assess harm. The welfare costs include deliberate and indirect harm to dependent young (a by-product of the commercial kill), and a number of unintended harms to adult kangaroos, including increased mortality during drought, inhumane killing of a portion of adult kangaroos, and a disruption of social stability and the evolutionary potential of individuals. Furthermore, a substantial gap exists between the intended welfare standards of the code of practice governing the kangaroo industry and the welfare outcomes for both dependent young and adult kangaroos. We found that, on balance, the benefits are lower than expected and the welfare costs are likely to be considerably higher than acceptable. More research, particularly at the point of kill, is necessary to verify and assess the extent of harms. A number of improvements are suggested to the code of practice to improve welfare outcomes.
Boom, K, Ben-Ami, D, Boronyak, LJ & Riley, S 2013, 'The role of inspections in the commercial kangaroo industry', International Journal of Rural Law and Policy, vol. 2013, no. Occasional, pp. 1-19.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
This article provides an assessment of the enforcement of the law governing commercial kangaroo killing, focusing particularly upon inspectorial practices. Australias kangaroo industry is the largest commercial kill of land-based wildlife in the world. Professional shooters hunt kangaroos in rural and remote locations at night. Due to the remote and decentralised nature of the killing, the industry presents unique challenges to law enforcement agencies that are responsible for the enforcement of animal welfare standards. This article focuses upon the role that inspections have in detecting offences within the commercial kangaroo industry. It provides a comparative analysis across the states, highlighting key differences in terms of inspectorial practices and the resulting outcomes. A common theme across all of the jurisdictions is that none of the agencies responsible for enforcement regularly conduct inspections of shooters, making it impossible to ensure that these parties are complying with the National Code of Practice for the Humane Shooting of Kangaroos and Wallabies. Recommendations for reform are offered, including stronger compliance policy, higher rates of inspection, increased resourcing and the introduction of alternative methods of inspection.
Boom, K, Ben-Ami, D, Croft, DB, Cushing, N, Ramp, D & Boronyak, LJ 2012, ''Pest' and resource: A legal history of Australia's kangaroos', Animal Studies Journal, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 17-40.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
This paper presents an investigation into the legal history of Australias kangaroos. It aims to provide a detailed analysis of how the law and policy governing the killing of kangaroos has evolved over time in response to changing public perceptions. This history begins with the pre-European period and traces the impact of European colonisation, early growth of the commercial kangaroo industry, and the increased role of science and regulation upon kangaroos. The paper critiques the historical designation of kangaroos as `pests that need to be `managed and argues that such an approach is inconsistent with current scientific understanding. As this `pest status has fallen in importance there has been a shift in regulatory goals from damage mitigation to resource utilisation, although government planning and policy continue to cite damage mitigation alongside objectives to maintain viable populations and a sustainable and commercially viable industry. While the kangaroo industrys current focus is upon the `sustainable use of wildlife, the history of attitudes towards kangaroos as `pests is so deeply and widely entrenched that it is impossible for the industry to meet welfare standards. The article concludes that the commercial kangaroo industry does not have any clearly defined policy benefit and should be reassessed to take greater account of the impact it has on ecosystems and kangaroo welfare
Mukheibir, P, Boronyak, L & Alofa, P 2017, 'Dynamic adaptive management pathways for drinking water security in Kiribati' in Leal Filho, W (ed), Climate Change Adaptation in Pacific Countries Fostering Resilience and Improving the Quality of Life, Springer, Berlin, pp. 287-301.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
This book showcases vital lessons learned from research, field projects and best practice examples with regard to climate change adaptation in countries throughout the Pacific region, a part of the planet that is particularly vulnerable to ...
Boronyak, LJ & Jacobs, B 2016, 'Managing Natural Resources for Extreme Climate Events: Differences in Risk Perception Among Urban and Rural Communities in Sydney, Australia' in Leal Filho, W, Musa, H, Cavan, G, O'Hare, P & Seixas, J (eds), Climate Change Adaptation, Resilience and Hazards, Springer, Germany, pp. 181-195.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Lack of perception of the risks posed by climate change has been identified as a major constraint to social adaptation. Factors contributing to risk perception include experience of extreme weather events; socio-cultural factors (norms and values); knowledge of causes, impacts and responses, and socio-demographics. Qualitative data was collected from a series of participatory placed-based workshops conducted in the Greater Sydney and South East regions of New South Wales, Australia with participants drawn from a mix of 12 urban and rural communities. Workshop discussions were based on an Emergency Management Framework: Prepare, Prevent, Respond and Recover (PPRR) for the most important local climate hazards—bushfires, drought, storms, and flooding. Qualitative information from the workshops was examined for evidence of the role of risk perception in the management of natural resources for extreme climate events and the capacity of communities to adapt. Perception of risk differed among locations (urban vs. rural) and types of events, in particular bushfire and flood. Recent experience of an event, livelihood dependency on natural resources and the socio-demographic dynamics of communities were identified as factors contributing to adaptive responses to improve protection of natural resources (such as soils, water and biodiversity).
Mukheibir, P, Boronyak, L & Cunningham, R 2018, 'Improving climate adaptation communication and decision-making between government and communities', WASH Futures 2018, Brisbane.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Jacobs, B, Boronyak, LJ, Dunford, S, Kuruppu, N, Lewis, B & Lee, C 2014, 'Towards a resilient Sydney - supporting collective action to adapt sub national government services to regional climate change', 3rd International Conference on Climate Change and Social Issues, 3rd International Conference on Climate Change and Social Issues, International Center for Research & Development, Colombo, Sri Lanka, pp. 12-14.
We report the findings of a vulnerability assessment of government service delivery to climate change for Sydney, Australia. Climate projections indicate that in addition to increases in average temperature, Sydney can expect higher incidence of extreme climate events such as heat waves, bush fires, intense low pressure weather systems leading to riverine flooding, and coastal inundation from sea level rise. We employed a participatory integrated assessment process with public sector employees representing five key sectors. Vulnerability stemmed from: lack of perception of climate risk, inadequate skills and knowledge to understand climate impacts, pressure from population growth on human settlements, insufficient consideration of climate change in strategic planning, pressure on natural resource supply and security, and an inability to direct government funding to adaptation action stemming from current political ideologies.
Jacobs, B, Boronyak, LJ, Mikhailovich, N & Muspratt, J 2013, 'Beyond birdies - enhancing biodiversity on urban golf courses', State of Australian Cities National Conference, State of Australian Cities (SOAC) Conference, State of Australian Cities Research Network, Sydney.
In urban areas where public land for habitat protection is limited, golf courses can play an important role in supporting biodiversity. Out-of-play areas on golf courses present an opportunity for restoring and enhancing biodiversity in ecologically simplified landscapes. We aimed to develop a greater understanding of factors that enable or constrain the adoption of improved biodiversity practices on Sydneys golf courses. The project consisted of three stages: 1. Mapping the location of golf courses across the greater Sydney region in relation to priority conservation areas; 2. A participatory workshop with golf course superintendents and managers drawn from across the greater Sydney region. The workshop findings informed the development of a survey instrument; and, 3. A survey of golf course staff across the greater Sydney region to determine the heterogeneity of capacity to adopt improved practices for biodiversity. Critical factors were identified that constrain and support the adoption of practices to improve biodiversity conservation on golf courses. We found that the influence of constraining and enabling factors varied spatially across the region. The reasons for this variation were complex and related to the interaction of local biophysical and social context in which the club operates rather than simply to issues such as land tenure. The findings of this project provide a baseline from which to measure temporal changes in capacity resulting from targeted capacity building initiatives and related improvements in conservation outcomes.
Riedy, C, Herriman, J, Ross, K, Lederwasch, AJ & Boronyak, LJ 2013, 'Innovative techniques for local community engagement on climate change adaptation', People and the Planet 2013 Conference Proceedings, People and the Planet: Transforming the Future, Global Cities Research Institute, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia, pp. 1-27.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Abstract: Climate change adaptation requires communities to prepare for both extreme weather events and the more gradual shifts that a changing climate may bring. Our project designed and evaluated several face-to-face activities to engage communities in North East Victoria on climate change adaptation. The objective was ultimately to help vulnerable people in the community become more resilient by connecting them with resources and supportive networks. The workshops tested several innovative community engagement activities, including storytelling, visioning and creative practice. These activities responded to a body of research on best-practice approaches for engaging community elders and leaders as spokespeople and peer educators, as well as research on deliberation and the use of story to locate sustainability experiences in an emotional landscape. The workshops used existing community networks to multiply their potential impact, and took place in communities that had experienced extreme climate events (drought, fire and flood) firsthand. We present a toolkit of ten community engagement activities drawing on the experience of these workshops. We contend that these activities are potentially replicable by local governments and other stakeholders in climate change adaptation. Further, they can bring to life the many and varied materials created by various agencies about preparation for climate change.
Mukheibir, P & Boronyak, L Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS 2016, Dynamic Adaptive Management Process - Supporting Community Adaptation to Water Shortages in Kiribati, Sydney, Australia.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
In the water-scarce Pacific Island nation of Kiribati wells that supply water are increasingly affected by saltwater intrusion due to high tides, sea level rise and increasingly frequent storms and tropical cyclones. A handbook had been produced to help local facilitators to train communities to identify climate change adaptation strategies by drawing from various sources of knowledge, including traditional knowledge.
Boronyak, LJ, Ben-Ami, D & Ramp, D Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS 2015, Kanganomics: a socio-economic assessment of the commercial kangaroo industry, Sydney, Australia.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
This report presents a synthesis of the findings from two participatory workshops conducted as part of the Enabling Adaptation in the Australian Capital Territory (EnAACT) project. The aim of EnAACT is to build a shared understanding of the Australian Capital Territory’s (ACT) vulnerability to climate change and to catalyse adaptation through responses that are sensitive to the reality of regional systems. The workshops were conducted in September 2014 with 71 representatives drawn from the six Policy Directorates of the ACT Government. The information gathered from the consultation will inform ACT Government policy to enable adaptation to climate change in the ACT and the broader South East region of NSW. The EnAACT project considers climate change impacts and adaptation to the year 2060, with the major focus on actions that are required within the timeframes of the ACT’s Climate Adaptation Strategy. This report synthesises the process and outcomes of each of the activities conducted during the workshops and is intended to provide an information base to identify responses and opportunities that assist ACT Directorates to enhance resilience and realise transformations in which the impacts of climate risks for the ACT are minimised.
Boronyak, LJ & Herriman, J Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS 2013, Review of Namoi Community Reference Panels, pp. 1-52, Sydney, Australia.
Langham, E, Ison, N, Brennan, T, Downes, J, Boronyak, LJ & White, S Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS 2013, Smart Grid, Smart City: Analysis and Reporting. Stakeholder Engagement Report, Sydney, Australia.
Cordell, DJ, Jackson, ML, Boronyak, LJ, Cooper, C, Mohr, SH, Moore, DD & White, S Australian Sustainable Phosphorus Futures and Institute for Sustainable Futures 2012, Phase 1: Analysis of phosphorus flows through the Australian food production and consumption system, pp. 1-57, Sydney, Australia.
Riedy, C, Herriman, J, Daly, JG, Ross, K, Jackson, ML, Lederwasch, AJ, Boronyak, LJ & Murta, J Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS 2012, Water in North East Victoria: Regional Community Development Climate Adaptation Plan - Final Report, Sydney, Australia.
Dunstan, C, Boronyak, LJ, Langham, E, Ison, N, Usher, J, Cooper, C & White, S Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS 2011, Think small: The Australian decentralised energy roadmap: Issue 1, December 2011, pp. 1-110, Sydney, Australia.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Ben-Ami, D, Boom, K, Boronyak, LJ, Croft, DB, Ramp, D & Townend, C THINKK, the kangaroo Think Tank, UTS 2011, Welfare implications of commercial kangaroo harvesting: Do the ends justify the means?, pp. 1-49, Sydney, Australia.