Friday, 8 December 2023
The Federal Parliament has greenlit the Nature Repair Bill, which will create a new for biodiversity protection on privately-owned land, by establishing a framework for landholders to apply for biodiversity certificates for projects that protect and restore nature.
BirdLife Australia commends the introduction of this framework, a crucial lifeline for landholders battling to safeguard critical habitats for endangered native birds, flora, and fauna. An additional source of funding is welcome given the ongoing serious underfunding of conservation in Australia.
Acknowledging the complexities in conservation, we also applaud the incorporation of amendments to the Bill. These amendments fortify the legislation against potential misuse, ensuring it cannot be wielded to destroy habitats through the inappropriate utilisation of offsets as a source of demand for biodiversity certificates.
We view offsets, as a response to proposed biodiversity or native vegetation loss, as a measure of last resort. They should only be used as a last resort. They are generally ineffective at compensating for loss for biodiversity and have often been poorly implemented.
This legislative stride not only addresses a critical need for enhanced conservation funding but also reaffirms the collective commitment to safeguarding Australia’s unique ecosystems. BirdLife Australia stands shoulder to shoulder with stakeholders, ready to navigate this new chapter in biodiversity conservation.
As we celebrate this occasion, we extend our thanks to the advocates, policymakers, and stakeholders who have contributed to this significant step forward. We are proud to help lay the foundation to save birds and save life.
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