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Ecosystem accounting – helping make an informed decision on the future of logging

Dr Oisín Sweeney, Senior Ecologist, National Parks Association of NSW

A case study on the Victorian Central Highlands

Back in June, scientists and economists from the Australian National University produced a ground-breaking piece of work. They published a set of experimental ‘ecosystem accounts’ for the Central Highlands region of Victoria. NPA Senior Ecologist, Dr Oisín Sweeney, explains the relevance of this approach.

A Plan To Protect Kosciuszko’s Water Catchments

Graeme L. Worboys, Adjunct Fellow, Fenner School of Society and Environment, Australian National University

Large numbers of the Wild Horse, a farm-animal escapee, are severely impacting the water catchment wetlands of the Australian Alps, including right across Kosciuszko National Park. In 2014, 35% of the Alps wetlands had been damaged. These high mountain wetlands are the very heart of the headwater catchment sources for our mightiest rivers, the Murray, Murrumbidgee and the Snowy and regrettably they are also a preferred grazing area for these heavy stock animals. Numbers of Wild Horses have grown from about 2,000 to more than 6,000 in just 11 years and they are causing great damage to the catchments. The NSW Government, in response to these threats has launched, in May 2016, a draft Wild Horse Management Plan for consultation … a plan, amongst other things, to protect the water catchments.

Evidence Mounts that Native Vegetation Focus for Climate Mitigation is a Rort

Yesterday’s revelations in the Sydney Morning Herald[1] (SMH) that the Baird government has dipped into the Climate Change Fund to find the $240 million for private land conservation is the latest piece of worrying Coalition climate policy says the National Parks Association of NSW (NPA).

The $240 million has been repeatedly touted by the government as being a safety net against a return to broad scale land clearing resulting from the repeal of the Native Vegetation Act, but has been labelled by the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists as ‘a taxpayer subsidy to farmers to clear land’[2].

Political Interference into Enforcement of Land-Clearing Laws Must Be Investigated

The NSW Nature Conservation Council and NSW National Parks Association are calling for a full public investigation into the political interference in the enforcement of land-clearing laws following revelations by the ABC Lateline program last night. [1]

Last night’s program exposed the grubby background to the Baird government’s controversial land clearing laws, set to pass through NSW Parliament today, including illegal clearing of Crown land, political intimidation and interference in land-clearing investigations, distressed farmers who have been used as political pawns, and murder of public officials.

Koalas ‘under siege’ from policy changes set to destroy habitat, report finds | Environment | The Guardian

New South Wales government is failing to protect koalas by allowing further land clearing, logging and habitat destruction, National Parks Association says.

 

Source: Koalas ‘under siege’ from policy changes set to destroy habitat, report finds | Environment | The Guardian

Iconic Status Won’t Be Enough to Save Koalas Unless Baird Changes Tack

What does it mean to be an icon in NSW? Not much apparently. Unless the Baird government has a complete rethink of its environment policy the iconic koala faces a bleak future says the National Parks Association of NSW.

Koalas are one of just six of the 1000-odd threatened species put on an ‘iconic’ pedestal in the NSW government’s Saving our Species (SOS) programme. According to the government, “iconic species are important socially, culturally and economically, and the community expects them to be effectively managed and protected”1.