Some good news for the environment! Our submission to have the loss of mature native trees recognised as a key threatening process under the Nature Conservation Act 2014 has been accepted.
While it took a number of years to achieve, the Scientific Committee has: “agreed to broaden the threatening process from the loss of hollow bearing trees to the key threatening process of Loss of mature native trees (including hollow bearing trees) and a lack of recruitment”. The law containing the advice took effect 27 September.
The submission to the Scientific Committee was made on behalf of Conservation Council ACT Region; Friends of Grasslands; Australian Native Plant Society Canberra Region; Canberra Ornithologists Group; and Field Naturalists Association of Canberra. It followed an Environment Exchange on mature native trees and the released of public information on saving mature native trees.
The Scientific Committee considered the submission and sought further advice from us, CSIRO scientists, academics, and other reports. We waited – this was a scientific process not a campaign! – and offered assistance and information when we could, and occasionally asked “are we were there yet?”
While this will not save all mature native trees, it does recognise that removing them is a problem.
An action plan will be developed which will include protection such as restricting clearing of mature eucalypts and mature native trees that contain nest hollows and “retention of non-mature native trees across urban and rural landscapes to ensure a future supply of mature trees and avoid lag times”. Actions to conserve and manage trees across the landscape have also been suggested, and for further monitoring and research including on Eucalypt dieback in the ACT and “appropriate provenance for revegetation programs under climate change”.