Updated: November 06, 2012
Biodiversity Fund round for Northern Australia earmarks resources for potential Cape York World Heritage Area
The Wilderness Society welcomed the announcement by the Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke for a $50 million Biodiversity Fund specifically aimed at restoring and managing Australia's biodiversity in northern Australia and improving carbon outcomes across the landscape.
“This announcement signals the Government is willing to prioritise funds for projects that protect and enhance biodiversity values in and adjacent to current and future World Heritage Areas,” said The Wilderness Society’s Northern Australia Campaigner Gavan McFadzean
“This is the first signal that Traditional Owners and other land owners that sign-up up for World Heritage will have access to the resources they need to properly manage Cape York’s natural and cultural values.
“Cape York’s Traditional Owners now have a tangible alternative to accepting the mining economy. These funds allow indigenous communities to build diverse employment pathways based-on looking after country as they have done for tens of thousands of years, for the benefit of all Australians.
“Cape York’s biodiversity is of global significance. This new funding round will enable Traditional Owners to manage and care for the diverse ecosystems that makes Cape York so special.”
“The Biodiversity Fund provides an opportunity to supercharge a Cape York economy based on conserving nature and culture, and sustainable industries and businesses, including agriculture, tourism, cultural and arts industries, biomedicines, land management, conservation, fire management, carbon farming and weed and feral animal control.
“In doing so Cape York could provide the template for an alternative development model for northern Australia, one where mining is not touted as the only option for prosperity and jobs.
“The announcement is good news for northern Australia. Covering an area of 110 million hectares, Northern Australia forms part of one of the world’s largest remaining wild places. These magnificent ecosystems face increased development pressures and unprecedented mammal and bird extinctions not yet fully understood by scientists.
“The vegetation of the region is almost entirely intact and in good health and includes extensive areas of tropical savannah, rainforests, mangrove forests and health lands. The region contains sixty intact river systems and much of northern Australia has biodiversity values of national or international conservation significance.
“This northern Australia round of the Biodiversity Fund recognises how nationally important conservation management activities are in northern Australia's extraordinary landscapes. Properly funded and targeted activities can not only help preserve world class heritage values, but potentially provide global and national carbon mitigation benefits, in doing so help support the development of a sustainable northern Australia economy based on traditional land management activities and a rapidly developing carbon market.
For more information, please contact:
The Wilderness Society Qld Inc - Brisbane
67 Boundary Street (upstairs)
West End, QLD, 4101
Phone: 07 3846 1420