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The Biological Diversity Advisory Council was the predecessor of the current Biological Diversity Adivsory Committee (BDAC). The Council's role was to advise the Australian Government Minister for the Environment and Heritage and the Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council (ANZECC) on matters related to the conservation and ecologically sustainable use of biodiversity. It reported regularly to the Minister on the implementation of the National Strategy for the Conservation of Australia's Biological Diversity and on the Convention on Biological Diversity .
The Council was a non-statutory advisory body composed of 15 members with expertise in conservation, science, local government, indigenous matters and industry including forestry, fishing, mining, pharmacy, tourism and agriculture. Members were appointed by the Minister.
Achievements of the Council included:
- Preparation of Biodiversity - A Politician's Guide in 1997. This information kit was distributed to Australian Government, State and Territory politicians, and to local government to assist them to inform their constituents about the need to conserve Australia's biodiversity.
- Joint development with the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) of the National Local Government Biodiversity Strategy. This strategy was adopted unanimously by ALGA in November 1998.
- Joint development, with the Department of the Environment and Heritage, of a biodiversity communications and education strategy aimed at raising the awareness of biodiversity throughout the community. This included supporting the preparation in 1998 of the booklet Biodiversity - Nature's Variety, Our Heritage, Our Future and a poster on the same theme.
- Preparation of the discussion paper, Biodiversity Research: Australia's Priorities. The ANZECC Standing Committee on Conservation supported the release of this paper in June 2000 as a focus for public consultation. The subsequent report to ANZECC was finalised by the Biological Diversity Advisory Committee.
- Work with the tourism, fishing and agriculture industries to raise the profile of biodiversity conservation as a responsibility of these sectors.