The ACT Government is calling on community groups to nominate public open space areas across urban Canberra for targeted habitat restoration to improve biodiversity, the conservation of threatened species, and better connect people with nature.
Minister for the Environment Rebecca Vassarotti said the community was being invited to nominate areas for targeted habitat restoration as part of the ACT Government’s Connecting Nature Connecting People initiative,
“Restoring and enhancing the ACT’s open space areas will benefit biodiversity and help connect habitats that are essential to wildlife and the survival of Canberra’s threatened species,” Minister Vassarotti said.
“The ACT is in a race against time to protect various local plant and animal species that continue on their path towards extinction. Government, business, and the community must work even harder together to stop and reverse this decline. This project is just one example of where collaborative efforts will benefit the environment and the community.”
“The government has also released the ACT Ecological Network Dashboard, an on-line resource to help community groups identify areas likely to provide maximum outcomes for the environment,” Minister Vassarotti said.
The Connecting Nature Connecting People initiative was a $2.95 million investment in the ACT Budget 2022-23 to protect and restore the ACT environment, while further strengthening Canberrans connection to nature.
The initiative extends conservation efforts beyond established parks and reserves which are critical to improving the resilience of ecosystems and native species in a changing climate and a growing city.
“Habitat loss and fragmentation are two of the key threatening processes that are causing a decline in the ACT’s biodiversity across Canberra’s urban area.
“The Connecting Nature Connecting People initiative supports a partnership between the government and the community to restore 20 high value conservation across the ACT to create new habitats and strengthen the community’s connection with the areas,” Minister Vassarotti said.
“The government is seeking nominations for up to 18 areas beyond the trial areas that are already underway in Hughes and Belconnen.”
Nominations will be assessed and prioritised on their potential to improve fragmented wildlife habitat, the unique and diverse native environment that will be enhanced and community support for the area.
“Canberra is blessed with a large and dedicated movement of volunteers who provide invaluable time and effort to look after our local environment. I’m ready for Canberra’s community groups to get behind the Connecting Nature Connecting People initiative. Together we can build new and better-connected wildlife habitats across and City whilst at the same time building new and better-connecting between people and their beloved local patches of nature.”
For more information and to get involved in area selection and view the ACT Ecological Network Dashboard, visit the ACT Government’s Connecting Nature Connecting People webpage.