Victoria Naturally ebulletin, No 3 - May 28, 2007
Welcome to Victoria Naturally’s second ebulletin.
>> LAND AND BIODIVERSITY WHITE PAPER
Have your say on Victoria’s natural environment – submissions open You now have just under a month to make a submission into the first stage of the State Government’s new Land and Biodiversity White Paper process (the deadline is June 22).
The Victoria Naturally alliance, which is led by the Victorian National Parks Association and was created to tackle the state’s growing biodiversity crisis, is urging everyone with an interest in the future of our environment to make a submission.
The White Paper will come in four stages and is expected to prioritise policy and investment in natural resource management, land health and biodiversity for the next 20 to 50 years, so it’s a great opportunity to help reshape the way Victoria’s natural environment is managed.
Why make a submission?
Victoria is the most cleared state in Australia. We’ve lost about 70% of our native vegetation through land clearing and 44% of our native plants and 30% of our native animals are “officially threatened”, although in reality a lot more are under threat.
Climate change is only going to make this situation worse.
Some of the solutions, such as reducing land clearing, are simple. But most of the answers are complex – we need changes in the law and institutions, we need more money spent on the environment, but how?
How do I make a submission?
The first stage of the White Paper process is a consultation paper called Land and Biodiversity at a Time of Climate Change, which you can download from www.dse.vic.gov.au/landwhitepaper/ and use to write your submission.
OR use our simple submission form – (537kb word document) and make sure YOUR issues – frustrations and solutions about the way we look after the environment, what’s working, what isn’t – are put on the agenda. You can also use The Australian Conservation Foundation’s online submission form.
Send submissions to: Project Director, Land & Biodiversity White Paper Project Team, Department of Sustainability and Environment, PO Box 500, East Melbourne 3002 OR email it to: email@example.com.
PLEASE send us a copy so that we can collate your concerns and share them with others. Post copies to Victoria Naturally, Level 3, 60 Leicester St, Carlton 3053. You can also fax it to us on (03) 9347 5199 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
And please contact us with any queries.
Note: Submissions must include a name and address and will be published on the Department of Sustainability and Environment’s website. If you would like your submission to remain confidential, please provide a separate written request.
What issues should I raise?
This first phase of the Land and Biodiversity White Paper process is an “ideas stage”, so it’s important your thoughts about the way we manage the environment are fed into the process.
Some of the questions Victoria Naturally would like to see addressed include:
• How can we increase public awareness about the value, and beauty, of Victoria’s nature, including the crucial role biodiversity plays in giving us “ecosystem services” such as crop pollination, clean air and water?
• How much money do we need to ensure that native vegetation on private land is properly protected and restored in the face of climate change?
• How can we create a “restoration industry” that is based on strong science and works with local communities to not only help us repair damaged landscapes but also provide jobs for rural Victorians?
• How can we ensure Victoria’s native vegetation and biodiversity protection regulations work well? Do we need more regulations?
• What resources do we need to control weeds and feral animals in our national parks and on private land to give natural systems some resilience in the face of climate change?
• How big do our biolinks – large-scale wildlife corridors – need to be, and where, to help plants and animals adapt to the effects of climate change?
• How can we properly monitor and report the health of biodiversity in Victoria, including keeping tabs on the amount of vegetation that is lost and how much is gained?
Good luck with your submission and please feel free to contact us if you need help by emailing email@example.com or by phoning us on (03) 9347 5188.
VNPA launches new-look website
The Victorian National Parks Association has revamped its website, adding new tools including downloadable forms to make it easier for people to send in a submission for the first stage of the State Government’s Land and Biodiversity White Paper process.
The new-look website will make it much easier for Victoria Naturally to update its section of the site, and we hope to add more background material over the coming months. You can now access an archive of our ebulletins or read the speech Sir Gustav Nossal gave at the launch of the Land and Biodiversity White Paper.
Visit the new site: www.vnpa.org.au
Gondwana Link, a collaborative project based in the heart of Australia’s only global biodiversity hotspot, has celebrated the acquisition of three new conservation reserves and the planting of one of the largest and most “biodiverse” revegetation projects in the country.
Gondwana Link is designed to protect, manage and restore globally important plant and animal populations in an arc of bushland that stretches 1000 kilometres from the wet karri forests of south west Western Australia to woodlands and mallee on the edge of the Nullarbor.
It is situated in a remarkable ancient landscape where 50 per cent of the plants and 70 species of wildlife are found nowhere else on earth.
Read more: Bush Heritage Australia
Forum - Toolbox for environmental change
Greening Australia is calling for registrations for its sixth annual Toolbox for Environmental Change forum, which will be held on Tuesday, July 24 at RMIT’s Storey Hall.
“Toolbox” will target primary and lower-secondary schools as well as environmental and sustainability education organisations. The event will provide participants with practical information, tools, resources and networking opportunities enabling them to begin, continue and advance sustainability education in schools.
Keynote speakers include Rob Gell, geographer, sustainability strategist and president of Greening Australia Victoria, who will talk about global climate trends.
He will be followed by Richard Denniss, Strategic Adviser to Senator Bob Brown and economist with an interest in the sustainability of people, population and our natural environment.
Read more: Greening Australia (Vic)
Biodiversity Across Borders is a one-day conference being held at the University of Ballarat’s Mt Helen campus on Friday, June 15. The theme is “Maintaining biodiversity in modified landscapes” and the conference will include presentations on environmental research done in south-eastern Australia and western New South Wales.
Read more: Download flyer