The North Coast Environment Council (NCEC) says it’s about time we had a Prime Minister who understands there is a biodiversity crisis and who is prepared to make a public global commitment to reversing biodiversity loss.
The group says that if Anthony Albanese follows through on this commitment we should see revitalised and strong environmental laws and an end to Commonwealth support for the logging of native forests.
A spokesperson for the NCEC, Vice President Susie Russell, said it was heartening to hear the Prime Minister endorse the World Leaders Pledge for Nature and commit to reverse Australia’s biodiversity loss by 2030. ‘Needless to say the previous Coalition Government had refused to commit.
Albanese needs to get cracking
Ms Russell said he will need to get cracking! ‘Everywhere we look, nature is coming last and more and more species are being pushed towards the extinction cliff from which there is no return.
‘On the north coast some of our most iconic animals are on the brink. The koala, and the Greater Glider are both now recognised as endangered. The Glossy Black Cockatoo is considered vulnerable to extinction, and several frog species are likely to be listed as endangered in the next month, including Pugh’s Frog, named for north coast forest conservationist, Dailan Pugh.’
Ms Russell said the Commonwealth Government has the ultimate responsibility to ensure these species survive. ‘Removing subsidies that are harmful to biodiversity combined with smart and strategic investment in nature protection and restoration, would yield multiple benefits to both regional communities through employment initiatives and savings through disaster prevention.
Saying one thing and doing another
‘Of course, we are concerned that as with the previous Governments, they may say one thing and do another. And the contradiction in the Government’s climate policy where it says it will reduce emissions while enabling new fossil fuel developments and failing to rule our using native forests in power stations for electricity generation, is cause for worry.
‘Nonetheless, the strong statements by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, calling for an end to the War on Nature and recognition that “biodiversity it the web of life that connects all our lives”, sets the tone for the Global Biodiversity COP 15 (Conference of the Parties) to be held in Montreal in December.
Bold and visionary
Ms Russell said the NCEC is looking forward to seeing the voluntary commitments Australia makes. ‘They need to be bold and visionary.
‘The web of life – animals, plants, fungi – all need a safe and relatively stable climate and habitat protection. We humans are part of, and dependent on that web, Our species won’t survive if too many of the strands are broken.
‘Time is up for business as usual. Too many years have been squandered already.’