Today’s announcement of a national network of marine parks is really a memorable day for Australian nature conservation.
The political rhetoric and self-congratulation associated with major events is often overstated. But whilst there are qualifications about aspects of today’s declaration of a very substantial suite of marine protected areas (MPAs) it is truly a global milestone and does place Australia back at the global forefront of marine conservation and marine-protected-area declarations.
This is a very positive outcome for current and future generations and should be viewed as major step forward for marine conservation both in Australia and in the world.
Over 70 % of natural vegetation in Victoria has been cleared since European settlement. Hence Victoria has been ‘on the back foot’ throughout the last hundred years in attempting to protect its natural areas.
The Victoria Naturally alliance (composed of most of Victoria’s well known conservation groups) wanted to see Victorian biodiversity start to get the attention it warrants from the Victorian government and hence commissioned two reports carried out under the auspices of Deakin University to describe the problem and attempt to propose solutions.
On Tuesday night the second of these reports will be launched with presentations from the leader of the first study on what are the threats to Victorian biodiversity (led by Professor Andrew Bennett of the School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Deakin University) and the leader of the second study on policy options for Victorian biodiversity (Associate Professor Geoff Wescott).