The adequacy of threatened species & planning laws in all jurisdictions of Australia

After the Gillard Government was leant on by the Business Council of Australia to hand environmental powers to the states, combined enviro groups commissioned the Australian Network of Environment Defenders Office to write a report assessing the adequacy of threatened species and planning laws in Australian jurisdictions.

The report outlines the legal framework for managing threatened species at state and commonwealth levels and identifies some of the key issues in terms of: strengths and weaknesses of the relevant laws and an ...

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Where’s the Guarantee? Implementation and enforcement of the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 & Wildlife Act 1975

This is the third report in a series, Monitoring Victoria’s Environmental Laws, to be published by the EDO. It investigates how effectively the Department of Sustainability and Environment is enforcing the Flora & Fauna Guarantee Act (FFG Act) and the Wildlife Act. It shows that the FFG Act remains very poorly implemented, with many of the legal measures to protect flora and fauna never used. Provisions in the Wildlife Act was more readily used by DSE but information about decisions ...

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Trees: the ultimate green investment?

Perhaps it is a pity that so many Australians think of our parks, gardens, streetscapes and urban landscapes only in terms of their aesthetics. While green spaces are beautiful and decorative, these attributes can mask the many functions vegetation serves in cities, to the point where its economic, social and environmental benefits are overlooked. Yes, trees are beautiful; but more than that, they save our cities a lot of money.

Cities are biodiversity hot spots because of the variety of habitats ...

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WA’s Margaret River escaped burn inquiry

Burnt coastal heath near Gnarabup Road, GnarabupThis WA Report looks at how the disastrous Margaret River fires of 2011 got away and burnt 32 homes. It lists a series of findings and focuses heavily on WA’s Department of Environment and Conservation’s (DEC) poorly applied risk management practices and policies governing the undertaking of planned burns. The Report notes that the DEC accepts responsibility for the damage caused ...

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Land Management Practices Associated with House Loss in Wildfires

Losses to life and property from unplanned fires (wildfires) are forecast to increase because of population growth in peri-urban areas and climate change. In response, there have been moves to increase fuel reduction—clearing, prescribed burning, biomass removal and grazing—to afford greater protection to peri-urban communities in fire-prone regions. But how effective are these measures? Severe wildfires in southern Australia in 2009 presented a rare opportunity to address this question empirically. We predicted that modifying several fuels could theoretically reduce house ...

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The contribution of trees to our lives: it is time to take stock

French botanist Francis Hall makes a case for the defence of trees as a powerful ally in saving the Earth’s ecosystems

Give me a tree and I’ll save the world ? that is the message that comes across from a book just published by the French botanist Francis Hall?, Du bon usage des arbres (Making good use of trees). The book is a defence of trees addressed to decision-makers and town planners. It is hard to know which specific tree to ...

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Forests Not Fuel

Burning  Trees for Energy Increases Carbon  Pollution and Destroys Our Forests
Forests cover 30 percent of the Earth’s surface. They purify our air and water, control soil erosion, foster biodiversity, serve as habitat for wildlife, and provide us with places to hike, fish, hunt, camp, and enjoy undisturbed environments. Forests also serve as carbon “sinks,” absorbing and storing vast amounts of carbon, making them one of our bestdefenses against global warming. In the U.S., we rely on the expansion ...

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Woodchipping Our Water

The report Woodchipping Our Water assesses how the logging of mature forests in the Goulburn River catchment threatens the enormous water production and carbon sequestration potential of the region.The Goulburn River is one of Australia’s most important and degraded river systems. It supplies water to many regional towns and cities, including Shepparton, Bendigo and Ballarat. The Goulburn also supports Victoria’s major irrigation industries and its flows are vital to the health of the Murray River system.

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Administration of the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988

The Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 (the Act) is the main Victorian legislation governing the conservation of threatened species and ecological communities and addresses the management of processes that threaten native flora and fauna. The Act applies to public and private land and establishes a listing process. Once an item is listed, there are a range of administrative and conservation tools that can be used to protect and conserve it.

The objective of the audit was to review how ...

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Old forests are global carbon sinks

Old forests – those that are more than 200 years old – are not protected by international treaties because they were thought to be carbon neutral. But a team from Belgium says such forests actually continue to take up carbon dioxide and are therefore important carbon sinks.

Sebastiaan Luyssaert and colleagues at Antwerp University reckon that 15% of the world’s old forests, which are not usually considered when offsetting carbon dioxide emissions, provide at least 10% of the global terrestrial carbon ...

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