Biodiversity publications archive

National Strategy for the Conservation of Australia's Biological Diversity

Department of the Environment, Sport and Territories, 1996
ISBN 0 6422 4427 8

7 - Implementation

If this Strategy is to be effectively implemented it is essential that priorities and the time frames for their achievement be identified. It is also important to establish the arrangements necessary for this to occur. This would include national coordination and review, the development of complementary strategies and the provision of adequate funding.

7.1 Priorities and time frames

Objective 7.1

Implement the Strategy through priority actions within established time frames.

A broad range of human endeavours and natural phenomena affect the future of Australia's biological diversity and the maintenance of essential ecological processes and systems. This is reflected by the large number of objectives and actions in this Strategy. The objectives and their actions do not contribute equally to ensuring protection of biological diversity, nor are they equally urgent. Many of the objectives, such as those associated with ecologically sustainable development, are being pursued as part of other national strategies or initiatives. Many of the actions are being pursued and will continue to be undertaken without an urgent need for enhanced resourcing from governments. These objectives and actions will provide a guide for determining priorities for expenditure from research funds and private sources and for community action. Those additional actions deemed to be urgent and having the capacity to make major contributions to the protection and ecologically sustainable use of Australia's biological diversity will be implemented as quickly as possible.

The priority areas for action, as depicted by their specific outcomes, are listed under Action 7.1.1 along with the time frames during which substantive results are to be achieved. These results are broadly defined and many encompass more than one of the Strategy's actions. The Strategy will be reviewed at five-yearly intervals to allow for assessment of progress, evaluation of priorities and, where necessary, adjustment.


7.1.1 Priorities and time frames

By the year 2000 Australia will have:

  1. completed the identification of its biogeographical regions;
  2. implemented cooperative ethnobiological programs, where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples see them to be appropriate, to record and ensure the continuity of ethnobiological knowledge and to ensure that the use of such knowledge within Australia's jurisdiction results in social and economic benefits to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples;
  3. completed the identification and description of major ecosystems in each biogeographic region and developed specific priorities for conservation;
  4. established mechanisms for resourcing the development and implementation of programs and plans for the continuing management of Australia's biological diversity on public and private lands, including lands managed by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples;
  5. completed development of a nationwide system of protected areas on public land, and waters, that are representative of the major ecosystems in each biogeographical region;
  6. implemented management plans for protected areas identified by the Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council as having major conservation significance because of high biological diversity, high endemicity or threatened species;
  7. established effective mechanisms for providing information to and support for biological diversity conservation projects undertaken by the community;
  8. clearly defined elements on the conservation of biological diversity in primary, secondary and tertiary curricula, giving emphasis to inter-relationships between disciplines;
  9. implemented programs consistent with this Strategy designed to encourage local government to play a major role in nature conservation in Australia;
  10. implemented institutional arrangements and programs to ensure and monitor the ecologically sustainable development of Australian industries based on the extraction or use of natural resources;
  11. implemented Conservation of Australian Species and Communities Threatened with Extinction – A National Strategy;
  12. arrested and reversed the decline of remnant native vegetation;
  13. avoided or limited any further broad-scale clearance of native vegetation, consistent with ecologically sustainable management and bioregional planning, to those instances in which regional biological diversity objectives are not compromised;
  14. completed species-specific management plans for major introduced pests and implemented effective controls for at least one introduced species of mammal and at least three major introduced plant pests;
  15. implemented a nationally coordinated program for long-term monitoring of the state of Australia's biological diversity and the impact of threatening processes;
  16. established legislative and administrative mechanisms for control of access to Australia's genetic resources;
  17. conducted an analysis of existing scientific knowledge about Australia's biological diversity and identified knowledge gaps and research priorities;
  18. fully implemented provisions of those international agreements relating to the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity to which Australia is a signatory.

By the year 2005 Australia will have:

  1. established effective cooperative mechanisms for bioregional planning and management;
  2. implemented management plans for the protected area network;
  3. established a system of voluntary or cooperative reserves, or both, and other management schemes on private lands to complement the protection provided by the public estate in protected areas;
  4. established networks of community groups and volunteers that play major roles in managing and monitoring biological diversity at the district level;
  5. local governments that have assumed a major role in the conservation of Australia's biological diversity;
  6. demonstrated maintenance of regional and district floras and faunas;
  7. successfully rehabilitated at least 10 endangered or vulnerable species;
  8. successfully controlled three introduced mammals, 10 introduced plants and one pathogen that pose major threats to biological diversity;
  9. sufficient information from long-term monitoring and other research to identify and understand the nature and extent of threats to Australia's biological diversity to develop actions for dealing with those threats.

7.2 Coordination and review

Objective 7.2

Ensure that appropriate arrangements are established to implement the National Strategy for the Conservation of Australia's Biological Diversity and monitor its effectiveness.


7.2.1 National coordination and review

The Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council, in consultation with other relevant ministerial councils, will:

  1. assume overall responsibility for coordinating the implementation of the Strategy at the national level;
  2. monitor outcomes of the Strategy and undertake five-yearly reviews of its implementation;
  3. provide to governments regular publicly available reports on the state of Australia's biological diversity. These 'state of biological diversity' reports should form part of the 'state of the environment' reports that are to be prepared by the States and Territories and the Commonwealth;
  4. report regularly to Heads of Government on progress in implementing the Strategy.
7.2.2 Biological Diversity Advisory Council

Provide for the establishment of a Biological Diversity Advisory Council, comprising persons with relevant expertise, representatives of industry, non-government organisations and the scientific community, and private individuals, to advise governments on biological diversity conservation issues, including the ecologically sustainable use of biological resources. The Council will report regularly through the Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council to Heads of Government on further development and implementation of the Strategy. The Biological Diversity Advisory Council's views on the Strategy and its implementation are to be publicly available. Administrative support to the Council will be provided by the Commonwealth Government.

7.2.3 Decision making

Integrate the conservation of biological diversity into the decision making of all levels of government, in accordance with the principles of the National Strategy for Ecologically Sustainable Development.

7.2.4 Lead agencies

Commonwealth, State and Territory governments will each identify a lead agency to oversee implementation of the Strategy within their jurisdiction. Full implementation will, however, require the involvement of a wide range of government, including local government, and private interests and will be facilitated through consultation and cooperation.

7.3 Complementary strategies and legislation

Objective 7.3

Ensure that the National Strategy is complemented by State and Territory and bioregional strategies, supported by effective legislation where necessary.


7.3.1 Complementary strategies and legislation

State and Territory governments will develop complementary biological diversity strategies where these do not already exist and will review their existing legislative framework for implementing biological diversity conservation programs and any legislation that results directly or indirectly in loss of biological diversity.

7.3.2 Local government planning and environmental management

Local governments will be encouraged to cooperate with each other to develop bioregional biological diversity management plans, with assistance from State and Territory governments. Biological diversity conservation should be recognised as an important objective of local government; training and access to information on biological diversity for local government officials should be increased.

7.4 Funding implementation

Objective 7.4

Ensure that the costs of biological diversity protection are equitably shared, such that they reflect contributions to degradation and benefits from protection or use.


7.4.1 Government appropriations

Governments will review funding and administration of existing programs that relate to the conservation of biological diversity to identify the potential for reallocation of resources for improved efficiencies and the need for increased funds to ensure implementation of the Strategy.

Before you download

Some documents are available as PDF files. You will need a PDF reader to view PDF files.
List of PDF readers 

If you are unable to access a publication, please contact us to organise a suitable alternative format.