Private Land Conservation Conference 2023

Private land conservation sector delivers Statement to Parliament calling for stronger action and resourcing for nature preservation

In a resounding call to action, leaders and representatives from the Australian 2023 Private Land Conservation Conference have delivered a Statement to Parliament, urging stronger policy measures, immediate and urgent action, and increased resourcing to combat the rate of nature loss in Australia.

The Statement calls for a number of actions from the Parliament of Australia, including to recognise and act on the nature crisis as outlined in the 2021 State of Environment Report; to recognise and prioritise the opportunity for private land conservation to halt and reverse the decline of Australian biodiversity; and to support urgent environmental law and policy reform that recognises and effectively addresses the seriousness and urgency of the nature crisis.

The Statement was delivered to Minister Plibersek following the close of a 3-day national conference convened by national peak body Australian Land Conservation Alliance (ALCA), which received record attendance in Canberra this week.

ALCA CEO Dr Jody Gunn said the conference had brought the private land conservation sector to the doorstep of Parliament so that the Australian Government may better understand and value the impact that private land conservation delivers.

“Globally and nationally, the demand and support for nature protection, management, and restoration is surging. In Australia, the message is clear: we care deeply about our environment and demand stronger policy, action, and resourcing,” said Dr Gunn.

“Over 400 participants attended the conference including strong representation from government, business and industry, reflective of the increasingly critical need for a whole of society approach to address our climate and biodiversity crises.”

“We’re here in Canberra because we are at a tipping point. There has never been a more urgent or serious need to protect, manage, and restore nature. The impacts of biodiversity loss and climate change is indiscrimminatory, and is affecting livelihoods from urban areas, to rural communities,” she said.

“We appreciate the Minister’s attendance at the conference and her commitment to the environment. We welcomed the opportunity to meet with her today to further discuss what the sector needs moving forward,” she said.

The Statement further calls on the Government of Australia to:

  • Deliver urgent and sustained whole-of-Government funding for Australian biodiversity that genuinely matches the urgency and seriousness of the nature crisis;
  • Proactively support and invest in the capacity and capability of the conservation and land management workforce and its current and future leaders to deliver for Australian biodiversity; and
  • Leverage the resources and strategies required to scale up and sustain action in private land conservation in Australia and deliver on international and domestic commitments.

Dr Gunn says that Australia has raised its ambition to address the nature crisis but requires action and resourcing that matches the urgency and seriousness of the nature crisis.

“There is a vast gap between the resources that the conservation and land management sector currently have to deliver, and what is required to address the interconnected crises of climate change and biodiversity loss, and to deliver on the global and Australian commitment to the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework,”

Peter Cochrane, Councillor and Vice President with the International Union for Conservation of Nature attended both the conference, and the delegation to Parliament.

“The private land conservation sector in Australia is renowned globally for innovation and cross-sector collaboration, as showcased at the recent conference. First Nations leadership was celebrated at the conference, and warrants broader recognition. To effectively combat nature loss, private land conservation requires increased investment from governments, philanthropy, and the private sector. To reverse our current trajectory toward ecosystem collapse and meet ambitious nature targets, we must leverage and expand on our current efforts.”

Private land conservation offers a pivotal opportunity to achieve Australia’s national protection and restoration targets. Whole-of-government support, strong policy mandates and a significant uplift in investment is needed to maximise the social, economic, and environmental outcomes that are already being delivered by the private land conservation sector.

Read the full Statement to Parliament.



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