You’d be forgiven for thinking that the very existence of national environmental laws creates an obligation on Environment Ministers to protect the environment. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Instead, their obligations are limited by the objects and duties that are specified in the law. And in the case of our...
In the lead up to Threatened Species Day on 7th September, Humane Society International is today launching The Threatened 15: a countdown of our top 15 species and habitats in need of new #naturelaws.
These 15 species have been selected from HSI’s nomination program, and have been ranked in terms of policy failure. Some of the species selected towards the beginning of the list have been afforded good protection, however those towards the top rankings of the list we believe are being let down by current laws.
HSI is proud of our nominations program which has now been running for over 20 years. In that time we have successfully put forward more than 70 species nominations and 28 threatened ecological community (or habitat) nominations.
Many of these have led to these animals and their habitats being protected under federal environmental laws, including the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act) or its predecessors.
However even when protected it doesn’t always guarantee a species’ survival. Sadly two of our nominated species the Bramble Cay Melomys and the Christmas Island Pipistrelle are both thought now to be extinct. Many others are failing to recover in the way we would hope and numbers continue to decrease.
The reasons for this are many. Whilst HSI strongly supported the EPBC Act when it came into force in 1999, we always knew it wasn’t perfect and political intervention, insufficient funding and underutilisation of the full power of the laws has in many cases meant that for some species we are still waiting for the benefit of listings to take effect. Failures to prepare conservation advice or take swift action against specific threats when needed, have severely impacted recovery efforts.
It is as a result of these concerns, and the increasing threats our animals face, that we calling for the development of a next generation of environment laws. As a one of the founders of the Places You Love alliance, we are working with our colleagues calling on Government and all political parties to make election commitments to new #naturelaws before it is too late.
But we never lose hope. We continue to ensure we do everything we can to ensure that species needing protection are listed, and those already protected gain every possible advantage to assist their recovery.
We hope you enjoy the diversity of animals and habitats to come over the next four weeks. Please keep up to date on our Facebook , Twitter and Instagram pages and sign our letter to Australia’s major parties calling on them to commit to new #naturelaws before the next election.
Blog image: HSI is launching a countdown on our top 15 threatened species in need of new nature laws in Australia. Images: Albatross – Catherine Bone; Bell Frog – Lance Jurd; Grey Nurse Shark, 2005 Richard Ling; Cassowary – Steve Parish; Flying Fox – Anne-Marie Dineen on WLT sanctuary Oakview