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5 June 2009 - HSI rejects Australian Governments 10 year Strategy for Biodiversity Conservation      

HSI rejects Australian Governments’ 10 year Strategy for Biodiversity Conservation

5th June 2009 World Environment Day                    

On World Environment Day, Humane Society International (HSI) Campaign Director Michael Kennedy said that: “Unless substantially re-written, we have no confidence Australia’s Biodiversity Conservation Strategy 2010-2020 will be successful in turning around the decline and degradation of species, ecosystems and ecological processes the continent is suffering.”

The Federal Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts has just closed a period of public consultation on a draft of Australia’s Biodiversity Conservation Strategy, a document that was a product of negotiations through the Natural Resource Management representing all Australian Governments.

Mr Kennedy said that, “The Department has received a barrage of submissions telling them the draft Strategy is simply not good enough and reads like a ‘lowest common denominator’ document negotiated by a set of lily livered governments not brave enough to make detailed, measurable and timed commitments to which they can be held accountable.”

The draft contains a set of wishy-washy, aspirational goals with no details as to how they will be achieved to deliver real protection for species, ecosystems and ecological processes on the ground. The disappointing Strategy comes at a time when people are realising that we need our biological diversity more than ever to fight climate change, recognising that the degradation of natural ecosystems is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.

If Australian governments are truly serious about protecting Australia’s biodiversity, the Strategy needs to be sent back to the drawing board.

In conclusion, Mr Kennedy said that, “Australian Governments, Commonwealth and State, need to come back with a Strategy that has detailed, measurable and timed targets – with substantial financial commitments - that will give the Australian public confidence that they are genuinely committed to arresting the tragic haemorrhaging of our nation’s rich biological heritage, and that they are prepared to be held accountable for their performance.”

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