Page 1993 - Week 06 - Thursday, 9 June 2022
(3) supports the ACT Government’s continued important work to protect and enhance biodiversity, which includes:
(a) developing biodiversity and ecological connectivity decision support tools to guide planning and development decisions that will promote positive environmental outcomes across the city;
(b) identifying priority areas for ecological restoration to maintain and enhance habitat corridors for species to move and adapt to a changing climate;
(c) embedding biodiversity sensitive principles into urban design guidelines so that biodiversity and ecosystems services are stronger considerations in shaping future development in Canberra;
(d) delivering demonstration projects that show how we can enhance the biodiversity values of urban areas, while also providing other benefits such as spaces for recreation; and
(e) working with committed and capable citizen scientists to carry out an extensive program to monitor, manage and restore biodiversity across reserves and green spaces; and
(4) commits to protect, connect, and restore biodiversity and ecosystems to build a shared future for all life across the landscapes of the ACT.
Today I call on this Legislative Assembly to join in a shared commitment to protect, connect and restore biodiversity and ecosystems to build a shared future for all life across the landscapes of the ACT. Last Sunday was World Environment Day, and on 22 May we mark the International Day of Biological Diversity, with the theme in 2022 being “Building a shared future for all life”.
You were probably, like me, quite distracted on Sunday, 22 May, as we saw Australians in the city and the regions vote for climate action, the environment, equity and integrity. It is clear that the people have spoken very loudly and clearly on climate and the environment, and we see our political representatives entering the new federal parliament with a mandate for change and an expectation from the community that we act to look after this country and the species we share it with.
Counteracting climate change is broader than just cutting our emissions. As the climate continues to change, the risk to important species and biodiversity continues to grow. Scientists tell us that we must solve nature and climate together or we will solve neither. Nature also underpins our lives, our economy, our health. It is about the places we escape to and the places we love. It is about our identity and our sense of home.
In our cities, we rely on nature-based solutions, but these are increasingly at risk. In January 2022 a global economic forum report estimated that 44 per cent of the GDP of cities globally is at risk from biodiversity and nature loss. This report noted that the loss of biodiversity poses significant risks to supply chains, transport, energy, travel, tourism, infrastructure, and urban development sectors. While Canberra has unique wildlife and rich natural assets, we must actively work to protect these natural treasures. Urban habitat is increasingly at risk or has become degraded, fragmented and fragile in the face of climate change.