The federal government has announced on Saturday that it will allocate $50 million in funding for koala habitat protection and recovery.

The news is welcomed by conservation group Humane Society International (HSI), who has jointly nominated east coast koala populations for an uplisting to Endangered status along with WWF Australia and the International Fund for Animal Welfare. The nomination, if successful, will attract greater legal protections for threatened koala populations.

Today’s funding announcement is only one aspect of a range of proactive steps needed to ensure koala populations are protected from extinction, and must be introduced alongside the jointly nominated uplisting, a national recovery plan and stronger environmental laws overall at both state and national levels.

Alexia Wellbelove, Senior Campaign Manager for HSI, said, “HSI welcomes the additional $50 million funding for koala conservation and recovery. As the joint nominee to uplist the koala to Endangered we are hopeful that this is another step towards a conservation framework to ensure its increased protection. This funding however must be in combination with a national recovery plan, and stronger national and state environment laws.

“Strong National Environmental Standards for threatened species that prevent the destruction of koala habitat on both public and private land are essential to prevent the koala’s slide to extinction. We look forward to hearing the results of our nomination to uplist soon.”

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