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Centre for Environmental Economics and Policy

Centre for Environmental Economics and Policy

Salinity Investment Framework III


Further information

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It’s a scientific approach, it’s logical and it’s easily understood whereas the previous approach was about who was making the most noise and whatever the flavour of the month was.

View of Wellstead estuary

The Salinity Investment Framework III (SIF3) project is working with national, state and local governments and with regional bodies responsible for salinity investments to bridge the gap between state-of-the-art knowledge and action.

SIF3 integrates hydrological, biological, economic and social research to help catchment managers understand how best to respond to dryland salinity in different circumstances.

  1. What is SIF3?
  2. Need for a new approach
  3. Applying SIF3 in practice
  4. Main changes from current approach
  5. Results from the SIF3 project

What is SIF3?

It is a framework designed to assist with decision making about public investment in management of dryland salinity.

For example, for investment in on-ground works to prevent salinity, SIF3 gives priority to highly valued assets, that are highly threatened with salinity, with high technical feasibility of avoiding that salinity if appropriate works are adopted, and high adoptability of those works by relevant land managers.

It has been developed to work nationally and has been successfully piloted in two regions, with current interest from a number of additional regions across Australia.

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Need for a new approach

We face a difficult dilemma: there are limited public resources for addressing dryland salinity, but the level of response required to protect any particular asset is large.

In many situations, perennials are needed on over 50% of a sub-catchment, while in others, within-catchment targeting is possible, provided the technical information is available.

Even in the latter cases, the area of perennial vegetation required is usually large compared to the current situation.

There is scope to increase the net benefits from public investment considerably through more thorough and systematic use of scientific, economic and social information in NRM planning and prioritisation.

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Applying SIF3 in practice

The core aim of SIF3 is to help natural resource management (NRM) investors to achieve the highest value NRM outcomes that are possible with the available resources. To that end, we are aiming for more rigorous and systematic decision making about their investments, while at the same time making it as easy as possible for them. There is a well-defined series of steps that includes: identifying the assets that may warrant investment; collecting specific information; applying the SIF3 decision tree; producing a short list; and conducting detailed feasibility assessment.

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Main changes from current approach

The approach is squarely focused on achieving NRM outcomes cost-effectively.

SIF3 requires environmental managers to be more explicit in identifying the highest-value assets, the degree of salinity threat they face, the technical feasibility of reducing that threat, and the adoptability of relevant works by land managers.

This information is integrated to identify case-specific recommendations that are consistent with existing scientific research. This is done using an innovative public and private net benefits framework.

The framework recommends a broader and different mix of policy tools with extension and incentive payments being targeted to cases where the relevant land-use changes are highly adoptable.

More information about the process

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Centre for Environmental Economics and Policy
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Last updated:
Monday, 18 July, 2011 10:58 AM

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