Protecting Canberra’s nature
The 2019 United Nations report on biodiversity identified that up to one million species globally face extinction in coming decades. Australia is not immune, with approximately 100 native species having become extinct since European settlement and a further 1,600 species that are currently threatened.4 Urban development, invasive species and climate change pose the largest threats to biodiversity, including in the ACT.
The ACT is home to two critically-endangered ecological communities, which include 52 threatened species. The protection of remaining Natural Temperate Grasslands and Yellow Box-Blakely’s Red Gum Grassy Woodlands is especially important given their national significance, as well as their intrinsic value and the amenity they bring to our city. Given the pressure on biodiversity across the ACT, all areas of moderate to high conservation value should now be appropriately protected and managed for effective conservation outcomes.
01. Establish an investigation by the Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment to review current biodiversity funding and its effectiveness in achieving biodiversity outcomes, and propose funding models that will ensure biodiversity protection and enhancement.
02. Fund and fully implement all existing ACT Government action plans and conservation strategies, applying specific timeframes to improve accountability.
03. Legislate to ensure land of moderate to high conservation value (including Natural Temperate Grasslands and Yellow Box-Blakely’s Red Gum Grassy Woodlands) outside the reserve system are protected in perpetuity through a protected area network, including introduction of voluntary stewardship/custodianship agreements.
04. Provide reserve status for the Newline Woodland, Bluetts Block, Piney Creek, Lands End, Woods Lane and Glenloch grasslands to recognise their importance for biodiversity.
05. Identify areas of the Western Edge Investigation Area for protection and commence conservation management under the stewardship system.
06. Provide recurring funding of at least $3 million per year to manage aquatic and terrestrial invasive plant and pest species ($2.4 million towards invasive plants, $600,000 towards pest animals).
07. Provide $1.2 million over 3 years as a funding boost for post-bushfire invasive species management.
08. Invest $1.2m over 4 years to support management of native grasslands (such as Umbagong Park, Florey and Isabella Pond, Monash) in off-reserve areas across the ACT.
09. Invest $2m over 4 years for Landcare ACT and member Catchment Groups.
10. Invest $200k over 4 years to maintain and develop the Canberra Nature Map.
11. Invest in citizen-science monitoring programs, such as Vegwatch, to complement other biodiversity monitoring programs.
12. Declare, implement and enforce territory wide full cat containment commencing no later than 2025.
With a new ministry in place, Canberrans can continue to call on the government to step up for the future of our city. Our handy action guides will help you to take action.