Biodiversity

Principles

The Greens NSW believe:

1. Biodiversity is fundamental to the sustainability of all life on Earth.

2. The restoration, protection and conservation of biodiversity is essential for the wellbeing of all life on Earth, including human life.

3. Climate change is having a devastating and ongoing negative impact on biodiversity and should be recognised as a high priority for government action to address global warming.

4. Biodiversity conservation is crucial to maintaining ecological integrity and ecological sustainability and improves our resilience and ability to manage ecological threats.

5. Biodiversity is an inextricable part of human identity, culture, wellbeing, health and quality of life.  

6. Australian biodiversity is globally significant and we have a global responsibility to protect and enhance it.

7. First Nations peoples have an ongoing cultural and spiritual connection with the land, waters, sky, flora and fauna, and their rights and obligations as custodians must be respected. This includes the cultural and intellectual property and heritage rights vested in traditional knowledge and in the biodiversity of their traditional lands, waters and sky 

8. Australia’s poor historical record of biodiversity protection requires urgent and focused commitment to biodiversity restoration to correct the legacy of past failures.

9. The protected area estate of New South Wales on public and private lands does not protect the full range of biological diversity, natural heritage and ecosystem processes.

10. A significant proportion of high conservation value land and significant habitat in New South Wales is owned and managed privately, and these areas pose challenges for biodiversity conservation.

11. Biodiversity conservation must include the mitigation of threats and threatening processes including: habitat loss and fragmentation, invasive species, and climate change.

12. The extinction of any individual native species is intolerable. It diminishes us and permanently reduces the richness of life.

13. There can be no offsetting capable of substituting for or reducing the impact of the loss of threatened species or high conservation value areas. 

14. Biodiversity conservation actions must be guided by the best available science. 

Aims

The Greens NSW will work towards:

15. Restoration, maintenance and enhancement of our ecosystem, species and genetic diversity.

16. A strong regulatory regime and sufficient investment to mitigate and control key biodiversity threatening processes.  

17. A well-funded, comprehensive, integrated and research-based emissions reduction plan with targets informed by best available science on biodiversity conservation.

18. Creating a new generation of environment laws that establish rights for nature to better protect endangered species, populations, ecological communities and habitats. 

19.    Measures to end broadscale native vegetation clearing and the incremental loss of native vegetation, including a fully resourced and effective compliance regime.

20.    State government support for an independent national ecological sustainability authority to enforce our national environment laws, produce national environmental accounts and focus on issues of ecological integrity.

21.    Encouraging landholders and managers on all land tenures, through a mix of regulatory controls and incentives to protect the biological diversity of their lands, restore habitat and provide environmental services.

22.    Permanent protection of all high conservation value land of inland New South Wales.

23.    Providing adequate funding for the management and/or restoration of high conservation value land including a range of mechanisms for assistance to private landholders.

24.    Supporting a diverse range of community-based biodiversity protection and restoration groups.

25.    Ensuring a system of terrestrial, freshwater and marine protected areas, linked by corridors, over public and private lands that is comprehensive, adequate and representative such that it is capable of ensuring the long-term protection and conservation of the state's biological diversity and natural heritage. 

26.    The immediate implementation of legislation preventing habitat loss to stop the unacceptable practice of waiting until a species becomes listed as endangered or threatened before attempting to take action.

27.    Research and implementation of humane and sustainable means of controlling existing and potential threats to biodiversity from feral animals, weeds and pest species.

28.    Protection from accidental or deliberate introduction of exotic plants, animals and organisms, including Genetically Modified Organisms, which pose a threat to Australia’s biodiversity, agriculture or human health.

29.    Ensuring planning laws are consistent with the conservation of biodiversity and ecologically sustainable development principles.

30.    A robust legislative regime and an increase in funding to biosecurity services to anticipate and prevent new invasive species threats including those posed by climate change.

31.    Establishing third party appeal rights for all environmental legislation. 

32.    Providing specific funding for community education programs on the significance of the state’s biological diversity and threatening processes.

33.    Ensuring that shooting in National Parks and state forests is carried out only by suitably trained and experienced employees of the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWAS) or professionals contracted to do so under NPWS supervision.

34.    Increasing regulation and control of mining and ensuring that all mineral exploration is subject to rigorous environmental assessment, including the rehabilitation of the affected land and waterways.

35.    Controlling grazing on public lands and in sensitive areas.

36.    Preventing market-based processes and trading mechanisms such as biodiversity banking and offsets being used to trade off high conservation areas for development.

37.    Offsets not being used to justify clearing of endangered or near threatened remnant and high value regrowth vegetation.

38.    All logging operations being subject to Environmental Impact Assessment.

39.    Ending peat extraction.

40.    Improving the regulation of firewood collection and supply, to ensure sustainably sourced firewood.

41.    Opposing the clearing of native vegetation (including regrowth) for the establishment of timber plantations. 

42.    Ending logging in public native forests and transferring the land to the National Parks estate. 

43.    Ongoing protection of all existing land in the National Parks estate, including through ensuring the National Parks and Wildlife Service is well staffed and resourced.

44.    Sufficient public funding for the Environmental Defenders Office to provide free environmental legal and law reform policy advice and take legal action to protect the environment and enforce environmental laws.

45.    Enabling and resourcing First Nations peoples to lead in the development and implementation of public policies, programs and services to enhance biodiversity and maintain their cultural and spiritual connection to their traditional lands, waters and sky.

46.    Increased funding and recognition for scientific research into ways to conserve and enhance biodiversity.

47.    Ensuring the extent of the urban forest, trees and greenspaces is expanded and existing areas are protected in law.

48.    A prohibition on clearing of core koala habitat across all land tenures. 

49.     A standalone New South Wales Environment and Climate Change Minister and Department which includes responsibility for the management of the National Parks estate, crown lands, biodiversity conservation, forestry, water, biosecurity, climate action, planning and the Environment Protection Authority.

50.    Ensuring the Environmental Protection Authority is independent and well-resourced.
 

Other related policies

  • Bushfire Risk Management
  • Coastal Management
  • National Parks
  • Wetlands
  • Animal Welfare
  • Marine Environment
  • Mining