Department of the Environment, Sport and Territories, 1996
ISBN 0 6422 4427 8
Conservation of biological diversity is a foundation of ecologically sustainable development and is one of the three core objectives of the National Strategy for Ecologically Sustainable Development. Biological resources provide all our food and many medicines and industrial products. Biological diversity underpins human well-being through the provision of ecological services such as those that are essential for the maintenance of soil fertility and clean, fresh water and air. It also provides recreational opportunities and is a source of inspiration and cultural identity.
The Convention on Biological Diversity, ratified by Australia on 18 June 1993, deals at a global level with the full range of biological diversity conservation, its sustainable use, and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from this use.This National Strategy for the Conservation of Australia's Biological Diversity aims to bridge the gap between current activities and the effective identification, conservation and management of Australia's biological diversity. The Strategy's primary focus is Australia's indigenous biological diversity. Implementation of the Strategy will require actions affecting virtually all of Australia's land and sea, most of which will continue to be subject to a multiplicity of uses, either in parallel or in sequence.Governments, community groups, the private sector and individuals are engaged in numerous activities aimed at the conservation of biological diversity in Australia, but much remains to be done. There are deficiencies in resourcing and coordination, in the adequacy of the protected area system, and in the knowledge upon which we base our decisions. There is also scope to improve resource management and conservation outside protected areas and to coordinate this with the protected area system. Greater consistency in approaches between governments and improved information flows between all sectors of the community are also necessary.
The Strategy was prepared by the Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council, in consultation with the Agriculture and Resources Management Council of Australia and New Zealand, the Australian Forestry Council, the Australian and New Zealand Fisheries and Aquaculture Council, the Australian and New Zealand Minerals and Energy Council, and the Industry, Technology and Regional Development Council. The views of business, industry and the conservation movement were also sought and the provisions of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the draft national strategy prepared by the Biological Diversity Advisory Committee, were taken into account.
The Strategy is a product of the spirit of cooperation engendered by the InterGovernmental Agreement on the Environment. It meets the requirements of the National Strategy for Ecologically Sustainable Development and complements the National Forest Policy Statement, the National Greenhouse Response Strategy and the draft strategy entitled Conservation of Australian Species and Ecological Communities Threatened with Extinction – a National Strategy.
All Australians are affected by loss of biological diversity and stand to benefit from the implementation of this Strategy.
We commit our respective governments to implement this Strategy as a matter of urgency. Implementation of the Strategy by our respective governments will be subject to budgetary priorities and constraints in individual jurisdictions.