Managing Wetlands

Moulting Lagoon

Moulting Lagoon, Tasmania (2009)

Photo: M.McAulay

Who manages Australia's Wetlands?

In Australia, primary responsibility for managing wetlands and their associated flora and fauna is vested in the appropriate landholders/land managers.

Individual state and territory governments have the primary legislative and policy responsibility for natural resource management.

The Australian Government Department of the Environment is the administrative authority within Australia for the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance. The Australian Government meets its obligations under the Ramsar Convention by providing national wetland policy leadership and direction, working with state and territory governments through the Standing Council on Environment and Water, implementation of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act), and through the development of programs to improve the management of wetlands.

Standing Council on Environment and Water

The Standing Council on Environment and Water (SCEW) is the peak government forum for consultation, coordination and, where appropriate, integration of action by governments on environment and water issues, which would not otherwise be possible because of the limitations imposed by the division of constitutional powers between Australian, State and Territory governments. The SCEW comprises Australian, state, territory and New Zealand government ministers responsible for environment and water policy.

The Wetlands and Waterbirds Taskforce (WWTF) provides nationally coordinated advice to the SCEW on wetland-related issues. The WWTF also advises the SCEW on the implementation of the Ramsar Convention in Australia.

The WWTF is made up of wetlands experts from the relevant Australian and New Zealand, state and territory agencies. The WWTF has led the way in implementing strategies promoting the study, conservation, repair and ecologically sustainable use of wetlands.

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