The Nature Conservation Council of NSW welcomes the release of Australia’s Biodiversity Conservation Strategy 2010-2030 as an important blueprint for the better protection of the nation’s precious wildlife, plants and ecosystems. Australia is one of only seventeen countries recognised worldwide for its exceptionally high levels of biodiversity, with many of our plants, mammals, birds and reptiles found nowhere else in the world.
“Commitments to the expansion of a system of national protected areas; greater Indigenous, community and private sector participation in biodiversity conservation; and a reduction in the impact of invasive species will make a significant impact on safeguarding the long-term wellbeing of our precious native species,” said Chief Executive Officer, Pepe Clarke.
“With the big-picture vision for biodiversity in place, we now need further detail on the implementation and action needed to address the biodiversity crisis facing Australia," he said.
The Nature Conservation Council is concerned Australia's decline in biodiversity will continue until governments at all levels take responsibility for dramatically reducing human impacts on our most vulnerable plants and animals, including urban expansion, logging and poor planning decisions.
In NSW alone, more than 950 of our plant and animal species are currently listed as threatened, with critically endangered species such as the yellow-spotted bell frog and blue gum high forests at risk of extinction within our lifetime.
In this International Year of Biodiversity, the Nature Conservation Council calls on the NSW government to seize the opportunity provided by the national biodiversity strategy for a substantial increase in its investment in biodiversity and conservation protection.
The 10 national targets outlined in the Biodiversity Conservation Strategy are:
1. By 2015, achieve a 25% increase in the number of Australians and public and private organisations who participate in biodiversity conservation activities.
2. By 2015, achieve a 25% increase in employment and participation of Indigenous peoples in biodiversity conservation.
3. By 2015, achieve a doubling of the value of complementary markets for ecosystem services.
4. By 2015, achieve a national increase of 600,000 km2 of native habitat managed primarily for biodiversity conservation across terrestrial, aquatic and marine environments.
5. By 2015, 1,000 km2 of fragmented landscapes and aquatic systems are being restored to improve ecological connectivity.
6. By 2015, four collaborative continental-scale linkages are established and managed to improve ecological connectivity.
7. By 2015, reduce by at least 10% the impacts of invasive species on threatened species and ecological communities in terrestrial, aquatic and marine environments.
8. By 2015, nationally agreed science and knowledge priorities for biodiversity conservation are guiding research activities.
9. By 2015, all jurisdictions will review relevant legislation, policies and programs to maximise alignment with Australia's Biodiversity Conservation Strategy.
10. By 2015, establish a national long-term biodiversity monitoring and reporting system.