The Hon. Tony Burke MP
Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities
As Australians we deeply value our nation’s unique and diverse natural environment. However, our dependence on the environment has come at the cost of loss of habitat, decline in biodiversity and an increasingly fragmented natural landscape. That’s why the Gillard Labor Government committed to build a network of National Wildlife Corridors.
National Wildlife Corridors will lay a foundation for a new, collaborative, whole-of-landscape approach to conserving biodiversity. It’s also designed to help strengthen the resilience in our native landscapes against climate change.
Sometimes the areas that are put into conservation from a connected landscape are so isolated that they lack the resilience that comes from a connected landscape. You can look at a map of reserved areas and sometimes it looks like someone has dipped a toothbrush in paint and splattered different unconnected dots across the land.
Corridors are about connecting those dots; it’s a way of improving resilience and ensuring that we are protecting nature in a way that preserves it for generations to come. The National Wildlife Corridors Plan is an essential part of the Australian Government’s environment policy. It gives effect to the Government’s 2010 election commitment to build the resilience of our environment in the face of climate change and to take a more strategic, landscape-scale approach to managing biodiversity.
National Wildlife Corridors will be based on voluntary cooperation and the existing efforts of communities, landholders, governments and industry. Any linking of the corridors will only be done through existing methods of putting land into conservation such as the work of Landcare volunteers, or when farmers have chosen to be part of environmental stewardship.
I wish to thank the Advisory Group and the Expert Working Groups who prepared the National Wildlife Corridors Plan.