Protecting the Northern Territory’s unique biodiversity and preserving its abundance is essential to maintain the Earth’s life support systems for the wellbeing of all life. First Nations knowledge and practices are critical to the protection of these ecosystems and ongoing stewardship of Country. Preserving and promoting biodiverse and healthy ecosystems strengthens our ability to respond effectively to the climate crisis.



The NT Greens believe:

  1. To maintain the Earth's life support systems, it is essential to protect ecosystems, ecosystem processes and biodiversity. 
  2. The loss of biodiversity is an existential threat and an unacceptable risk to human and ecosystem health and wellbeing.
  3. The NT’s iconic landscapes, ecosystems and native wildlife are under threat like never before from development, land clearing, the spread of invasive and introduced exotic species and the climate crisis. 
  4. The loss of the NT’s biodiversity dramatically reduces our ability to cope with major ecological threats such as the climate crisis. 
  5. Protected areas are vital to the preservation of the NT’s biodiversity and biodiversity conservation must assure the health and abundance of species, not merely their viability.
  6. NT ecosystems are vital for the survival of internationally significant species of migratory animals. 
  7. First Nations’ peoples’ knowledge and stewardship of ecosystems should be acknowledged, valued, supported with adequate resources and centred in planning and decision making for the protection of the NT’s biodiversity.


The NT Greens want:

1. Robust, best practice governance and regulation to protect, maintain and rehabilitate the NT’s ecosystems, species and biodiversity including: 

     a. Best-practice NT environment laws which impose clear duties to protect the environment, achieve ecologically sustainable development, protect and recover threatened species, ecological communities and their habitats and to establish rights of nature.

     b. A whole-of-government commitment to mitigating the climate crisis in order to maintain biological diversity and give ecosystems the best chance for survival.

     c. An overarching biodiversity conservation strategy, and preparation and publication of regular state of the environment reporting. 

     d. Full integration of ecological sustainability and the precautionary principle into all decision-making that impacts the NT’s biodiversity.


2. Reduced rates of land clearing in the NT, including by:

     a. Placing decision making for clearing native vegetation with an independent government body.

     b. Requiring mandatory environmental impact assessments to clear land greater than 1000 hectares. 

     c. The adoption of native vegetation laws capable of addressing both overt and covert land clearing.

     d. Evidence-based non-developable exclusion zones surrounding high conservation areas. 


3. Strengthened management of the NT’s natural environment, including:

     a. A comprehensive, extended, representative system of land-based, freshwater and marine protected areas, including extending protection to all remaining areas of high conservation value, managed primarily to protect and restore biodiversity.

     b. An increase in and enforcement of penalties for the killing or capture of threatened species, and for deliberate habitat destruction and land clearing breaches.

     c. Protection from accidental or deliberate introduction of exotic plants, animals and organisms which pose a threat to the NT’s biodiversity, and a strategy for managing invasive species with existing widespread distribution within the NT

     d. Support for programs to assist private landowners to protect and restore nature conservation values on their land, including conservation covenants.

     e. The development, funding and implementation of recovery plans for threatened and endangered species and ecological communities, and the implementation of threat abatement plans for nationally listed threatened species.

     f. Retirement of pastoral stations that are detrimental to biodiversity.

    g. The creation of urban bushland reserves where native animals and plants may become re-established.

    h. The development of best practice and evidence based biodiversity programs.


4. Regulation that recognises the interests of First Nations people in maintaining biodiversity on pastoral lands and empowers First Nations people to be involved in planning and decision-making to protect biodiversity.

5. The expansion of Indigenous Protected Areas and an increase in resourcing and support for First Nations land managers.

6. Effective habitat management, including ecologically and culturally appropriate use of fire.


The precautionary principle: Under section 19 of the Environment Protection Act 2019 (NT), the precautionary principle states ‘If there are threats of serious or irreversible environmental damage, lack of full scientific certainty should not be used as a reason for postponing measures to prevent environmental degradation’ and that ‘Decision-making should be guided by a careful evaluation to avoid serious or irreversible damage to the environment wherever practicable; and an  assessment  of  the  risk-weighted  consequences  of  various  options’.