For environmental managers everywhere, the biggest question is often ‘where should I spend the few dollars that I have to get the best environmental outcomes?’
Investment Framework for Environmental Resources (INFFER) is a framework specifically developed to help answer this question. INFFER gives decision makers the ability to bring together biological, physical, social and economic research to assess one project against another, comparing aspects such as value for money, degrees of confidence in technical information and the likelihood of achieving stated goals.
Everyone involved in protecting the environment wants to make the best use of the money that is available, but the issues are complex, and it is difficult to tell what would be “best”. INFFER aims to help people determine whether their environmental/natural resource investments will deliver tangible results within budget; whether the tools and technical capacity needed to attain those results will be available; and whether the necessary people will be there when the time comes for action.
INFFER can be used to establish priorities for internal funds and prepare proposals to acquire external investment.
Users can develop a stock of projects that address key environmental assets and have already been put through INFFER’s stringent assessment process, so they enable organisations seeking government funding to always have projects ‘ready to go’. This could mean the difference between additional funding being granted or not, such as in funding rounds that are announced with very short time frames or sudden changes in government policy or priority.
It is already in use in four states to assess projects for environmental assets of national importance, such as native forests threatened by dieback, the Gippsland Lakes, and the Hamersley Ranges.