Safeguarding Nature: Protecting Australian species against extinction

Invasive Species Council | Impact area » Safeguarding the Environment

The Issue » Australia is currently facing an extinction crisis with more than 1,770 species now threatened or endangered, and invasive species are our number one threat. Cats and foxes have driven 22 native mammals to extinction across central Australia and a new wave of decline, largely from cats, is taking place across northern Australia. Species will continue to decline and become extinct unless we have a strong national system for abating the threats of invasive species as well as those posed by habitat destruction. Australia’s current system for identifying key threatening processes and coordinating national threat abatement efforts (under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999) is failing. The government does not recognise, let alone seek to address, many major threats under the current system, and less than half of the threats that are recognised have resulted in moderate to good abatement progress. A more effective national threat abatement system is needed to prevent species extinctions and declines.

The Project » The Invasive Species Council has been working with environmental NGOs, policy experts and scientists to develop a package of institutional, legal and policy reforms that would engender a more concerted focus on abating major threats. The proposed reforms include:

  • promoting effective intergovernmental and cross-sectoral collaborations
  • designing solutions that best fit specific threats
  • prioritising science-based decision-making and limiting political interference
  • assessing funding needs and developing new funding sources
  • supporting the development of a ‘threat abatement industry’ to maintain a skilled workforce, as exemplified by Indigenous ranger groups.

The next steps are to: (1) establish a threat abatement working group (with members for whom threat abatement is a core focus); (2) further develop the proposed reforms and build the case for their adoption, and; (3) create a cross-sectoral consortium (with members that conduct abatement or will benefit from the reforms) to demonstrate support for the reforms, undertake advocacy, and initiate collaborative threat abatement projects.

More details to follow in the forthcoming Impact Fund 2019 Prospectus.

The Invasive Species Council is a not-for-profit, charitable organisation campaigning for stronger laws, policies and programs that safeguard Australia’s native plants and animals from harmful weeds, feral animals and other invaders.

Funding Request »
Total ask: $150,000
Impact Fund pledge: $35,000
Remaining funds required: $115,000

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