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Only One Planet Jon Nevill, B.E.Mech (Hons); B.A.; M.Env.Sc. Only One Planet Ngaire Phillips, B.Sc.; M.Sc (Hons); PhD. NIWA Australia Representative freshwater.

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Presentation on theme: "Only One Planet Jon Nevill, B.E.Mech (Hons); B.A.; M.Env.Sc. Only One Planet Ngaire Phillips, B.Sc.; M.Sc (Hons); PhD. NIWA Australia Representative freshwater."— Presentation transcript:

1 Only One Planet Jon Nevill, B.E.Mech (Hons); B.A.; M.Env.Sc. Only One Planet Ngaire Phillips, B.Sc.; M.Sc (Hons); PhD. NIWA Australia Representative freshwater reserves: better late than never: the role of representative reserves in the protection of freshwater ecosystems.

2 2 Only One Planet “Reserves” are protected areas: areas under a particular management regime designed to protect the area’s ecosystems against threats. Representative reserves are ONE COMPONENT in a protected area framework. Other freshwater reserves have been established, for example, with the primary aim of protecting recreational or landscape assets, or conserving multiple use areas (Ramsar wetland sites, for example). The US Wild and Scenic Rivers Program has protected a variety of such sites, for example. Currently The Wilderness Society is arguing the case for the protection of large pristine river systems for their wilderness values (in northern Queensland, for example).

3 3 Only One Planet Representative reserves are areas selected to protect representative examples of natural ecosystems, features or phenomena. They are established for the: protection of biodiversity protection of threatened ecological communities and species; preservation of unique, rare or outstanding phenomena; the establishment of ecological benchmarks; and protection of important landscape, wilderness, recreational, scientific, cultural and educational values and uses. What are representative reserves?

4 4 Only One Planet Representative reserves are needed because: Australia has a large variety of freshwater ecosystems, many of which receive little or no protection through existing reserve systems; Threatening processes affect many of our remaining rivers, wetlands and aquifers; Biodiversity protection requires the setting aside of representative examples of all ecosystems; Aquatic ecosystems have other ecological values, which require protection, including rarity, naturalness and special features. Why do we need representative reserves?

5 5 Only One Planet Ramsar Convention applies to wetlands only; “wise use”; inventories; World Charter for Nature terrestrial, marine and freshwater ecosystems International Convention on Biological Diversity terrestrial, marine and freshwater ecosystems Australia’s international commitments: representative reserve systems

6 6 Only One Planet  1992 InterGovernmental Agreement on the Environment  1992 National Forest Policy Statement  1992 National Strategy for Ecologically Sustainable Development, and  1996 National Strategy for the Conservation of Australia's Biological Diversity. Australia’s national commitments: representative reserve systems

7 7 Only One Planet  1890s: first national parks declared.  Growth of the parks estate based on -natural beauty -wilderness -recreational -nature conservation, and -cultural values Australia’s national / State reserve systems:

8 8 Only One Planet  1970s: first marine parks declared;  1970s: growth of concerns about representation of terrestrial reserves;  1991: Commonwealth Ocean Rescue 2000 program;  1992: National Reserves System Program;  1995: Interim Biogeographic Regionalisation of Australia; Australia’s national / State reserve systems:

9 9 Only One Planet  1996: National biodiversity strategy;  1996: Natural Heritage Trust funding supports the NRSP;  1997: Oceans bioregionalisation developed;  1998: National Oceans Policy;  1999: Oceans Action Plan includes funding from the NHT Australia’s national /State reserve systems:

10 10 Only One Planet The existing reserve system includes some important freshwater ecosystems, notably Ramsar wetland sites, and freshwater ecosystems contained within large terrestrial reserves. However, no information is available on the extent to which representative FW ecosystems are protected. The most significant gaps probably relate to river and aquifer ecosystems. Australia’s national /State reserve systems: representative freshwater ecosystems

11 11  New South Wales: Rivers and Estuaries Policy 1993; Wetlands Management Policy 1996; Biodiversity Strategy 1999;  Victoria: Nature Conservation Strategy 1987; Biodiversity strategy 1997;  Western Australia: Wetlands Conservation Policy 1997;  Queensland: Wetlands Strategy Only One Planet Representative freshwater reserves: commitments by States:

12 12  Northern Territory: A Strategy for Conservation of the Biological Diversity of Wetlands, 2000 ;  ACT: Nature Conservation Strategy 1998;  Tasmania: Developing Tasmania’s nature conservation strategy; 2000;  South Australia: is developing a draft wetlands policy (no commitment to representative freshwater reserves at this stage). Only One Planet Representative freshwater reserves: commitments by States:

13 13  Victoria: Heritage Rivers Program 1988; Heritage Rivers Act 1992; 15 Representative Rivers designated; program incomplete.  ACT: several reserves designated covering river and wetland areas managed under the Nature Conservation Strategy ; Only One Planet Representative freshwater reserves: programs by States:

14 14  Western Australia;  Northern Territory;  Queensland;  New South Wales;  Tasmania.  - no specific programs to meet commitments. Only One Planet Representative freshwater reserves: programs by States:

15 15 Summary : All States except SA are committed to the development of systems of representative freshwater reserves; however Victoria and the ACT are alone in establishing programs to implement this commitment. Only One Planet Representative freshwater reserves: programs by States:

16 16  permeable boundaries: inherent management difficulties;  focus in NRS on broadscale bioregional planning; matters of fine scale (such as freshwater ecosystems) deferred;  no agreed national approach to freshwater ecosystem classification enabling identification of representativeness;  comprehensive freshwater ecosystem inventories remain incomplete in all Australian States; Only One Planet Difficulties causing delays in establishing systems of representative freshwater reserves:

17 17 Our two central recommendations are that:  agreed National methods for the classification of freshwater ecosystems into (‘representative’) categories should be established, which can be incorporated into a comprehensive national inventory; and  a national approach should be developed to enable the identification of gaps in the existing reserve system relating specifically to freshwater ecosystems. Only One Planet Recommendations:

18 18 These recommendations, we believe, should be initiated within the cooperative frameworks of the NRS and ANZECC, assisted by agencies such as AFFA, EA (wetlands program), the National Audit, and Land and Water Australia (including involvement by the National Rivers Consortium). Only One Planet Recommendations:

19 19 Working Group Reference Group Discussion paper Only One Planet ASL representative reserves working group:


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