THE Victorian Government last week released 'Protecting Victoria's Environment – Biodiversity 2037', a new long-term plan that aims to protect the environment and enable the state adapt to the challenges faced by all aspects of the natural environment.
Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D'Ambrosio said the plan builds on work already underway to review Native Vegetation Clearing Regulations and a refresh of the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988.
"Our ecosystems not only sustain life by providing clean air and water, productive soils, natural pest control, pollination, flood mitigation and carbon sequestration – but they also support activities that underpin Victoria's liveability and economic strength," Ms D'Ambrosio said.
"The plan provides another opportunity for Victoria to show national leadership in biodiversity protection in the face of our changing climate."
The plan was welcomed by Environment Victoria, with Nature Campaigner Juliet Le Feuvre saying it was the first time in 20 years that the state has updated its strategy for managing biodiversity.
"The plan sets out 20-year targets to stop any more of our precious species from becoming endangered, to provide more habitat and to help already endangered species survive. It has a strong emphasis on the risks of climate change to the natural environment, and on the economic benefits that protecting the environment brings. These are welcome developments," Ms Le Feuvre said.
"We look forward to seeing more announcements over coming weeks and months, including implementation and funding details, which need to spell out the actions, responsibilities and budget resources required to meet the 5 year interim targets in the plan.
"The Andrews government is also currently reviewing the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act, which provides the legal foundation for the biodiversity plan but has failed to live up to its ambition to guarantee that all Victorian species can survive and flourish in the wild. Significant reform of the Act is needed to provide strong legal protection for Victoria's threatened species."
More information about 'Protecting Victoria's Environment – Biodiversity 2037' is available from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning website at <https://www.environment.vic.gov.au/biodiversity/biodiversity-plan>.