National planning tool for the implementation of the ramsar convention on wetlands - Ninth Conference of Contracting Parties to the Convention on Wetlands
Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts
- National planning tool for the implementation of the ramsar convention on wetlands - Ninth Conference of Contracting Parties to the Convention on Wetlands (PDF - 786 KB)
- National planning tool for the implementation of the ramsar convention on wetlands - Ninth Conference of Contracting Parties to the Convention on Wetlands (RTF - 3,416 KB)
About the report
Australia has made substantial progress towards fulfilling its obligations under the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971) in the last triennium. Key achievements include:
- Wise Use of Wetlands
- Raising Awareness of Wetlands
- Progress towards Universal Membership
- Building institutional capacity for Wise Use
- Conservation of Ramsar sites
- Designation of New Ramsar sites
- International Cooperation
This report has been prepared by the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts incorporating information provided by other Commonwealth Departments, each of the State and Territory governments and from non-government organisations with an interest in wetlands.
It is useful to keep in mind when reading Australia's National Report that the Commonwealth of Australia is a federation of six self-governing States - New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania, and two self-governing Territories - the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory.
Under the Australian system there are three levels of government - Federal (Commonwealth), State/Territory, and local - each with their own responsibilities regarding the environment. The Commonwealth is responsible for managing natural resources on Commonwealth owned and managed land, such as Shoalwater and Corio Bays Ramsar site and Pulu Keeling National Park. The Commonwealth is also responsible for facilitating co-operative implementation of Australia's international environmental responsibilities and the development of national environmental policies, standards and guidelines. In addition, the Commonwealth works to ensure that the policies and practices of the States and Territories do not adversely impact on areas outside their jurisdictions.
The States and Territories are responsible for participating in the development of national policies, standards and guidelines and have primary responsibility for the management of natural resources within their respective jurisdictions. They are also responsible for the development and implementation of their own State or Territory environmental policies and legislation.
Local governments are responsible for the development and implementation of local environmental policies in co-operation with other levels of Government and their local communities.
In practice, the three levels of government frequently co-operate in the area of environmental management and Australia has consultative councils in place to facilitate inter-jurisdictional cooperation. The primary inter-governmental councils for the development, coordination and implementation of environmental policy are the Council of Australian Governments and the Natural Resource Management Ministerial Council.