Saturday, November 24, 2018

Australia's Deforestation continues

Australia is failing to meet international targets to protect nature in parts of the country where land clearing and habitat destruction are widespread, according to a major new United Nations report. The UN’s report found that globally 43.2% of ecoregions now meet the target for 17% protection on land, compared with 42.6% in 2016.

The report showed that Australia was “far from meeting” international targets that require countries to develop well-connected and ecologically representative protected areas for nature. Important habitats in areas of Queensland and New South Wales, where land clearing is prevalent, are lacking protection, meaning Australia is not meeting its international obligation to develop a representative system of parks that protects 17% of all regions across the country.

“Australia must lift its game when it comes to protecting habitats for our unique wildlife and ecosystems,” said James Tresize, the Australian Conservation Foundation’s policy analyst. “It has been six years since we’ve had a federal investment program for establishing new national parks. Budget cuts across the board are putting conservation outcomes at risk and management under strain.”
Martin Taylor, a conservation scientists at WWF Australia, said protecting key habitats was the most important measure that countries could take to prevent extinctions.
“Despite Australia committing to do that 10 years ago, after a brief burst of investment there is now nearly nothing invested in new protected areas,” he said. “To make matters worse deforestation controls have been axed and forest destruction is again on the rise, putting Australia as the only developed country on the global list of deforestation fronts.”

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