Over twenty leading Australian and international environmental organisations have signed a declaration calling on government to support a system of continental and regional-scale green corridors to build community and natural resilience and help tackle our planetary crises.
The declaration was issued off the back of the Great Eastern Ranges’ Connecting People, Connecting Nature conference held in Brisbane from 18-19 October. The high-level event brought together local and international industry experts and practitioners to explore the science and practice of connectivity conservation.
Against a backdrop of escalating habitat loss, degradation, fragmentation, extinctions and the pervasive impacts of climate change, the statement calls on governments to implement a national conservation corridors framework that ensures good governance and involves and empowers people to reconnect nature.
“The intertwined crises of climate change, biodiversity loss and declining health can only be addressed through an integrated, cross-tenure approach to conservation that creates impact at the vast scale needed and places people at the heart of the solution. That is the basis of connectivity conservation,” says Gary Howling, CEO of the Great Eastern Ranges.
The declaration highlights connectivity conservation’s role in providing holistic natural solutions that benefit people and the planet, building community and landscape resilience, and meeting Australia’s local and global environmental and climate goals.
It also acknowledges the critical importance of co-designing projects alongside First Nations Peoples and the need to weave traditional knowledge and practice into on-ground efforts to maximise impact.
“The importance of connectivity and strategic, community-led conservation and restoration efforts is now widely accepted globally. Australia was once a leader in this space but has since fallen behind governments and independent conservation organisations worldwide,” says Gary.
“We already have the essential science and traditional knowledge required. We have established connectivity conservation initiatives in place and organisations and Landcare groups across multiple jurisdictions have embraced this ask. All that’s needed is for government to provide fresh impetus by implementing the policy framework and funding necessary to dramatically scale and ramp-up efforts to reconnect nature by connecting people.”
Aboriginal Carbon Foundation
Australian Land Conservation Alliance
Australian Wildlife Society
Bush Heritage Australia
Center for Large Landscape Conservation
Great Eastern Ranges
Global Rewilding Alliance
Gondwana Link Ltd
Goonengerry Landcare Group
Hinterland Bush Links
IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare)
Jaliigirr Biodiversity Alliance
Jane Goodall Institute Australia
Lockyer Uplands Catchments Inc
National Landcare Network
North East Bioregional Network (NEBN)
Restoration Decade Alliance
World Wide Fund for Nature-Australia (WWF-Australia)