BirdLife Australia Takes a Stand Against Extinction
On National Threatened Species Day, BirdLife Australia and our Places You Love Alliance partners sent a strong message to our political leaders that Australia needs to take urgent action to avert an emerging biodiversity extinction crisis.
Participants gathered on the lawns of Parliament House to hear how weak national nature laws together with recent large budget cuts for threatened species conservation are seriously jeopardising our best efforts to protect and recover our unique wildlife.
Speakers reiterated the four key messages from our Act for Birds campaign, calling for the Australian Government to:
1. Create truly national environment laws that genuinely protect Australia’s natural and cultural heritage.
2. Establish an independent National Sustainability Commission to set national environmental standards and undertake strategic regional planning and report on national environmental performance.
3. Establish an independent National Environmental Protection Authority that operates at arm’s-length from government to conduct transparent environmental assessments and inquiries, as well as undertake monitoring, compliance and enforcement actions.
4. Guarantee community rights and participation in environmental decision making.
Walking through the crowd, I was inspired and heartened to see and meet many BirdLife supporters taking a stand for our amazing birdlife.
Prominent examples include the many people carrying signs calling for greater protections for Critically Endangered Swift Parrots, a species whose nesting habitat is being legally cleared in Tasmania due to exemptions under the Regional Forest Agreement, and Endangered Golden-shouldered Parrots, a species whose habitat is at imminent threat from land clearing for agriculture in Queensland.
My personal favourite was some beautiful Glossy Black-Cockatoos made from recycled materials.
Later in the day I met with the Threatened Species Commissioner, Dr Sally Box, seeking her support for our work to conserve the Preventing Extinction Program’s ‘Forgotten Flock’ –birds at high risk of extinction in the next 20 years that, to date, have had insufficient resources and action.
Dr Box was particularly keen to hear about plans to work with the King Island community, species’ experts, the Cradle Coast Authority and Tasmanian Government, on comprehensive surveys of the island for the King Island Scrubtit and Brown Thornbill.
Preventing Extinctions Program Manager