Australia needs to exert more efforts in wildlife, ecosystems protection

Source:Xinhua Published: 2018/11/24 11:10:38

Australia needs to exert more efforts to protect unique wildlife and ecosystems in Queensland and New South Wales (NSW), a policy analyst for the Australian Conservation Foundation said Saturday.

"Australia must lift its game when it comes to protecting habitats for our unique wildlife and ecosystems," James Tresize told the Guardian Australia.

In a report released on Saturday the UN warned that the amount of land afforded conservation protections in Queensland and NSW, two of the nation's four largest states by land mass and population, was below the mandated 17 percent.

Overall, 19 percent of Australia was subject to protections, but that figure was a result of higher rates in states and territories other than NSW and Queensland.

The UN found that of Australia's total protected area, only 20 percent has measures in place to evaluate if protection measures have been successful.

According to the report, Australia has expanded its network of protected areas since 2016, but that was largely due to an increase in indigenous protected areas in inland Australia rather than on the eastern coast where protection is low.

"It has been six years since we've had a federal investment program for establishing new national parks. Budget cuts across the board are putting conservation outcomes at risk and management under strain."

More than 43 percent of regions in the world have met the 17-percent protection target, the UN found, up from 42.6 percent in 2016.

Australia's Department for the Environment and Energy acknowledged that "some bioregions remain underrepresented."

"Achieving full ecological representation is challenging, particularly in areas where natural ecosystems are highly fragmented or where land is not available," a spokesperson for the department told the Guardian.

"The department is working with reserve partners to explore alternative approaches for achieving biodiversity conservation outcomes in underrepresented bioregions," the spokesperson said.

Posted in: BIOLOGY

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