Earlier this month, New Zealand’s Supreme Court rejected a proposed land swap that would have flooded conservation land for the construction of the country’s largest irrigation dam. The court was considering whether the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council’s investment arm could build a dam on 22 hectares of the protected Ruahine Forest Park in exchange for … Continue reading Supreme Court ruling on NZ’s largest irrigation dam proposal respects conservation law and protected land
Australia’s Murray-Darling Basin rivers and the policy to restore them, under the Murray-Darling Basin Plan, has come under considerable scrutiny with allegations of water theft, inadequate transparency of water management and poor government policy processes, uncovered by ABC investigative reporting of Four Corners. Billions of dollars has been spent on the Murray-Darling Basin river system … Continue reading Murray-Darling Basin Plan under scrutiny
A team of scientists have compared recent developments in US, Canada, and Australia to identify policies which should be supported by scientists and scientific societies active on the issue. This study, published in the journal Conservation Biology, identified eight reforms which are needed to defend the scientific integrity of policy processes related to conservation of … Continue reading New study identifies eight reforms to defend against increasing threats to scientific integrity
The SCB Asia Section Board recently held its a training workshop on conservation policy, and invited Oceania board members Richard Kingsford and Megan Evans to share their experiences from working on policy initiatives in our region: SCB Asia board members from around the region, and Chapter representatives from Thailand, Korea, Iran, Bangladesh, and Indonesia came together to participate in … Continue reading Helping to develop capacity in conservation policy in Asia
What should development in Northern Australia look like? The new ‘food bowl’? Turning the rivers inland? There are grand dreams about developing the ‘north’. But what is the real untapped potential of Northern Australia? Earlier this year, at the Society for Conservation Biology Oceania Congress we hosted an expert panel to discuss these issues. The event was … Continue reading Big Ideas: What should development in Northern Australia look like?
On Friday, scientists from across the world, in conjunction with scientific societies and the delegates of the Society for Conservation Biology Oceania Conference, called upon Australian governments and parliaments, especially those of Queensland and New South Wales, to take action. We called for the prevention of a return to the damaging past of high rates of woodland and forest destruction, in order to protect the unique biodiversity and marine environments of which Australia is sole custodian.
Megan C Evans, Australian National University Queensland’s land clearing has yet again become a national issue. After laws were relaxed under the then Liberal-National state government in 2013, land-clearing rates tripled, undermining efforts to conserve wildlife and reduce carbon emissions. Now the Labor state government wants to re-tighten the laws. The revised legislation is expected … Continue reading Queensland moves to control land clearing: other states need to follow
This week, the Senate Environment and Communications Legislation Committee recommended the repeal of Section 487 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act 1999. This amendment would prevent individuals and community groups from seeking judicial review of decisions under the EPBC Act. The inquiry attracted 292 formal submissions, with most opposed to the repeal … Continue reading SCBO opposes EPBC Act amendment
In addition to preparing our own policy statements, SCBO frequently signs or authors policy statements relating to issues that we think are important to our membership. Here are two recent contributions: Review of Australia’s Biodiversity Conservation Strategy 2010-2030 Comments on the National Biodiversity Strategy Secretariat’s five-year review of Australia’s Biodiversity Conservation Strategy. SCBO’s key concern … Continue reading Policy submissions, September 2015
The Society for Conservation Biology in Oceania has released its first Conservation Science Statement, focusing on the plight of freshwater biodiversity in New Zealand. The report, prepared by conservation biologists in New Zealand, provides a background to our current understanding of the science for freshwater ecosystems in New Zealand and then goes on make recommendations on how to protect these declining systems for future generations.