Conservation and development policies significantly impact the long-term sustainability of biodiversity and natural resources. SCBO seeks to ensure that policies at local, regional, national, and international levels are informed by the best available scientific evidence.
We do this through our Policy Committee by publishing conservation science statements on issues of importance to our region, authoring policy submissions in response to government strategies and policies relating to conservation and the environment, and developing the capacity of our organisation and our members to engage with conservation policy.
On this page, we provide links to resources on finding and responding to policy opportunities, and also provide links to our previous policy submissions. If you are interested in becoming more involved in environmental policy initiatives, please get in contact via our Twitter page.
Resources for Influencing Environmental Policy
- Writing effective submissions, The Change Toolkit
- How to write a policy brief, Research to Action
- How to write a policy submission, Australian Association of Social Workers
- Making submissions to Senate Committees, Australian Parliament
- Making submissions to Select Committees, New Zealand Parliament
- Connecting research with policy: Guide to writing for policy-makers, Threatened Species Recovery Hub
Where to find policy opportunities
- Environmental Defenders Office (lists of National and State issues)
- EPBC Act Referrals
- Nominations of threatened species and ecological communities (Commonwealth)
- Commonwealth Environment Department public consultations
- Additional opportunities can be found by accessing the websites of Environment Departments, Parliamentary Committees and Environmental Protection Agencies of each State and Territory (e.g. by searching using keywords such as ‘public consultation’, ‘have your say’, ‘draft policy’, ‘draft management plan’).
- We also run a Twitter account @enviro_policy which shares current policy opportunities for Australia.
If you know of any great resources missing from this page, please let us know via our Twitter page.
Conservation Science Statements
The first Society for Conservation Biology Oceania Section Conservation Science Statement focuses 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.
In 2016, 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.
In addition to preparing our own policy statements, SCBO frequently writes and signs policy statements relating to issues that we think are important to our membership.
- March 2021: Hawaii’s native species need protection: A case for expanding the State Endangered Species List
- July 2020: Inquiry into the problem of feral and domestic cats in Australia Submission to Senate Inquiry.
- March 2020: Independent review of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act Submission to the EPBC Act Review Secretariat.
- September 2018: Australia’s faunal extinction crisis Submission to the Senate Standing Committee on Environment and Communications.
- September 2015: 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.
- September 2015: Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Standing) Bill 2015 Comments to the Senate Standing Committees on Environment and Communications.
- February 2015: Science Statement of Support for a Network of Marine Reserves welcoming the Western Australian State Government’s commitment to create a Great Kimberley Marine Park.
- December 2014: Submission on the Abbot Point Port Development Proposal – identifying some major concerns we have on the impacts of this development the Caley Wetlands and their organisms, including migratory shorebirds and the endangered Australian painted snipe, and the impacts of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.
- August 2014: Joint submission to the Australian Government’s Green Paper on Developing Northern Australia (with the Kimberley to Cape Network).