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Only One Planet

Only One Planet

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Only One Planet

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  1. Only One Planet Only One Planet Policy failure:freshwater protected area systems in Australia . Jon Nevill, B.E.Mech (Hons); B.A.; M.Env.Sc. OnlyOnePlanet Consulting 8 March 2005 jon_nevill@yahoo.com.au

  2. Only One Planet Only One Planet Acknowledgements:Australian Society for Limnology: Working Group Reference Group Discussion paper / resourcebook www.asl.org.au www.onlyoneplanet.com.au

  3. Only One Planet Only One Planet Acknowledgements:financial help and support Land and Water AustraliaAustralian National UniversityAustralian Conservation FoundationWWF Australia Prof Andrew Boulton, UNE Prof Peter Cullen CRC FE Prof Ian White ANU CRES

  4. Only One Planet Only One Planet Are freshwater protected areas important? According to the Convention on Biological Diversity 1992, the conservation of biodiversity, including aquatic biodiversity, requires the protection of representative examples of all major ecosystem types, coupled with the sympathetic management of ecosystems outside those protected areas. These twin concepts underpin all Australia’s biodiveristy protection programs. Protected areas are the single most important tool used in biodiversity conservation programs throughout the world.

  5. Only One Planet Only One Planet What are freshwater protected areas? • Protected Areas • IUCN definition: effective management of threatening processes combined with secure tenure: • six categories: • Category one: full protection • Category six: multiple use, little protection. • .

  6. Only One Planet Only One Planet What are freshwater protected areas? • Freshwater protected areas are areas selected to protect examples of natural ecosystems, features or phenomena. They are established for the: • protection of biodiversity - particularly representative ecosystems • 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, including processes necessary to sustain ecosystems or ecosystem services.

  7. Only One Planet Only One Planet What are freshwater protected areas? • Freshwater protected areas are areas selected to protect examples of natural ecosystems, features or phenomena. They are established for the: • protection of biodiversity - particularly representative ecosystems • 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, including processes necessary to sustain ecosystems or ecosystem services.

  8. Only One Planet Only One Planet What are freshwater protected areas? • Freshwater protected areas are areas selected to protect examples of natural ecosystems, features or phenomena. They are established for the: • protection of biodiversity - particularly representative ecosystems • 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, including processes necessary to sustain ecosystems or ecosystem services.

  9. Only One Planet Only One Planet What are freshwater protected areas? • Freshwater protected areas are areas selected to protect examples of natural ecosystems, features or phenomena. They are established for the: • protection of biodiversity - particularly representative ecosystems • 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, including processes necessary to sustain ecosystems or ecosystem services.

  10. Only One Planet Only One Planet What are freshwater protected areas? • Freshwater protected areas are areas selected to protect examples of natural ecosystems, features or phenomena. They are established for the: • protection of biodiversity - particularly representative ecosystems • 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, including processes necessary to sustain ecosystems or ecosystem services.

  11. Only One Planet Only One Planet Australia’s international commitments: representative FW protected area systems Ramsar Convention 1971 - applies to wet lands; promote “wise use”; develop inventories; protect outstanding examples. World Charter for Nature 1982 - protect representative terrestrial, marine and freshwater ecosystems. Convention on Biological Diversity 1992- protect representative terrestrial, marine and freshwater ecosystems.

  12. Only One Planet Only One Planet Australia’s international commitments: representative FW protected area systems The IUCN World Conservation Congress was held in November 2004 in Thailand. The congress resolution on freshwater protected areas reads (in part): 1. THE CONGRESS RECOMMENDS that all states: (a) establish protected areas representative of all freshwater ecosystems, including but not limited to riverine, lacustrine, wetland, estuarine and groundwater-dependent ecosystems, in cooperation with local communities and resource users, so as to safeguard the biodiversity of each of their freshwater ecosystems, and set targets for protection where useful and appropriate.

  13. Only One Planet Only One Planet Australia’s international commitments: representative FW protected area systems Ramsar Convention 1971 -Wetlands are: areas of marsh, fen, peatland or water, whether natural or artificial, permanent or temporary, with water that is static or flowing, fresh, brackish or salt, including areas of marine water the depth of which at low tide does not exceed six metres.

  14. Only One Planet Only One Planet Australia’s national commitments: representative FW protected area systems • 1992 InterGovernmental Agreement on the Environment; • 1992 National Strategy for Ecologically Sustainable Development; • 1996 National Strategy for the Conservation of Australia's Biological Diversity; and • 2001 National Objectives and Targets for Biodiversity Conservation.

  15. Only One Planet Only One Planet State and territory commitments to create representative freshwater protected areas • Victoria 1987 • New South Wales 1993 • Western Australia 1997 • ACT 1998 • Queensland 1999 • Tasmania 2000 • Northern Territory 2000 • South Australia 2003

  16. Only One Planet Only One Planet State has funded a program specifically to implement this commitment: • Victoria - part • New South Wales - no • Western Australia - no • ACT - yes • Queensland - no • Tasmania - part • Northern Territory - no • South Australia - no

  17. Only One Planet Only One Planet State commitments…Victorian freshwater protected areas 18 Heritage Rivers,25 Natural Catchments, (Heritage Rivers Act) 15 Representative Rivers (management plans) 11 Ramsar sites 159 sites listed in the Directory of Important Wetlands.Wetland inventory containing 13,114 sites; river inventory exists. Victoria is thought to contain around 17,000 wetlands over 1 ha. State Environment Protection Policy (Waters of Victoria) 2003 provides additional protection to “high conservation value” waters – the only State water quality policy to do this. Retention of native vegetation policy (incl riparian and aquatic) – the only State where “no net loss” has moved to “net gain”.

  18. Only One Planet Only One Planet Australia’s national /State protected area systems: representative freshwater ecosystems 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 freshwater ecosystems are protected. The most significant gaps probably relate to river and aquifer ecosystems;(way forward: IFBRA?).

  19. Only One Planet Only One Planet Australian Capital Territory commitments: • Nature Conservation Strategy (NCS) 1998 makes commitments to protect all ecosystems within a comprehensive, adequate and representative network of protected areas. • Extensive river reserves protect the Murrumbidgee River and the Cotter river within ACT jurisdiction. • Extensive terrestrial reserves protect all other major wetland types within the ACT – an inventory of freshwater ecosystems is complete but in need of updating. • Recognising the small size of the ACT, the extensive ownership of land by the Crown, and extensive existing terrestrial reserves, the ACT’s system of governance makes freshwater ecosystem conservation substantially easier than in other Australian jurisdictions.

  20. Only One Planet Only One Planet New South Wales commitments: • NSW Rivers and Estuaries Policy 1993 – commits to CAR freshwater PAs. • NSW Wetlands Management Policy 1996– commits to CAR freshwater PAs, (current revision includes CAR fw Pas). • NSW Biodiversity Strategy 1999– commits to CAR freshwater PAs, Promised aquatic biodiversity strategy in 1999 – strategy apparently abandoned in 2003. • NSW Fisheries Management Act provides for the establishment of aquatic reserves. However, none have been created in freshwater. • State Water Management Outcomes Plan 2003 proposed a network of aquatic reference sites.

  21. Only One Planet Only One Planet Northern Territory commitments: The NT wetlands strategy 2000 commits to: • identify wetlands in each biogeographic region of the Northern Territory; • undertake biological and environmental surveys of wetlands; • develop a geographical information system wetland inventory; and • examine the range of wetland types included in the current reserve system, and identify gaps in representation. (still ‘in progress’ 2005)

  22. Only One Planet Only One Planet Queensland commitments: • Queensland’s Wetlands Strategy 1999 commits to the development of CAR freshwater protected areas; • Implementation of this strategic commitment is not backed up by detailed policy commitments or program funding; • At this stage Queensland has no clear commitment to identify and protect a full range of riverine ecosystems, however the development of a rivers policy, which stalled in 2001-2002, was resurrected at the last State election, and legislation to establish Queensland “wild rivers” is proposed.

  23. Only One Planet Only One Planet South Australian commitments: • South Australia’s Wetlands Strategy 2003 contains a commitment by the State government to the development of CAR (comprehensive, adequate and representative) wetland protected areas; • Existing reserve acquisition programs have targeted wetland ecosystems for a number of years; however funding for acquisition programs is limited;

  24. Only One Planet Only One Planet Tasmanian commitments: • Tasmania’s Nature Conservation Strategy Discussion Paper 2000, as well as the State Water Development Plan, propose both the development of a comprehensive freshwater ecosystem inventory and the development of representative freshwater protected areas; • Reserve acquisition programs in Tasmania operate under severe funding limitations (other than some RFA acquisitions). • Existing surveys of fluvial sites will underpin the development of a comprehensive inventory. • The Conservation of Freshwater Ecosystem Values Project (2002 to 2005) will see the development of a strategy to protect freshwater ecosystem values using CAR principles. Implementation funding (2005 onwards) is not guaranteed.

  25. Only One Planet Only One Planet Victorian commitments: • Policy commitments in 1987 and 1997 to develop representative PAs for both wetlands and rivers. • Fifteen representative rivers identified in 1991. Draft management plans for 11 of these 15 prepared by 1996 - no further progress, none have been implemented. • Wetlands investigation by LCC shelved in 1992 – LCC disbanded. • Heritage Rivers Act passed in 1992. Management plans for 18 Heritage Rivers still in draft form in 2005 – none implemented. • No public reporting on implementation of management plans. • River Health Strategy 2002 targets healthy “representative river reaches” by 2021. VEAC to review representative rivers?

  26. Only One Planet Only One Planet Western Australian commitments: • WA’s Wetlands Conservation Policy 1997 committed the State government to establish representative freshwater reserves covering both still and flowing waters (streams and rivers). • The development of freshwater ecosystem inventories is moving slowly, due to funding limitations and the large size of the State. • Development of a biodiversity strategy and related legislation, commenced in 2000, appears to be moving very slowly... • The draft Waterways WA Policy 2000 failed to amplify earlier commitments regarding the protection of representative examples of rivers. Final Waterways WA Policy remains unpublished (March 2005).

  27. Only One Planet Legislation to create aquatic protected areas

  28. Only One Planet Legislation to create aquatic protected areas

  29. Only One Planet Legislation to create aquatic protected areas

  30. Only One Planet Legislation to create aquatic protected areas

  31. Only One Planet Legislation to create aquatic protected areas

  32. Only One Planet Legislation to create aquatic protected areas

  33. Only One Planet Legislation to create aquatic protected areas

  34. Only One Planet Legislation to create aquatic protected areas

  35. Only One Planet Legislation to create aquatic protected areasEnvironmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Commonwealth)

  36. Only One Planet Legislation to create aquatic protected areas

  37. Only One Planet Only One Planet Legislative tools developed in Qld, SA, NSW, Vic and Tasmania – NOT USED – Why? Lack of broad community concern and support: farmers Indigenous communities fishers conservationists - not talking or supporting each other Lack of political will (politicians and advisors) Bureaucratic inertia and incompetence Scientists remain silent

  38. Only One Planet Only One Planet Other problems with the implementation of policy: commitments remain in limbo for many years: the Victorian example - 1987 State Conservation Strategy commitment to identify gaps in wetland reserves enabling the development of a fully representative wetland reserve system – no action after 17 years. Heritage Rivers – 18 management plans remain in draft form after 12 years, thus without statutory force under the Heritage Rivers Act. Representative Rivers – of the 15 required management plans, only 11 have been drafted after 12 years. Source: Nevill and Phillips 2004.

  39. Only One Planet Only One Planet Difficulties causing delays in establishing systems of representative freshwater protected areas: • permeable boundaries: inherent management difficulties; • no agreed national approach to freshwater ecosystem classification enabling identification of representativeness; • comprehensive freshwater ecosystem inventories remain incomplete in all Australian States; and • focus in National Reserves System on broadscale bioregional planning; matters of fine scale (such as freshwater ecosystems) deferred until changes to policy in late 2004;

  40. Only One Planet Only One Planet Comprehensive inventories of freshwater ecosystems: • Inventories should cover: wetlands rivers estuaries subterranean freshwater ecosystems. • Inventories should contain information on: location value, and condition. • Inventories should be readily accessible to decision-makers and to stakeholders.

  41. Only One Planet Only One Planet Canada’s Heritage Rivers System: • the Canadian Heritage Rivers System was created in 1984 by an agreement between the Federal and Provincial Governments. • Listing as a heritage river is achieved by a two-step process: nomination and designation. • Nomination submissions must demonstrate that the river in question meets criteria for 'outstanding value’ and has ‘integrity’.

  42. Only One Planet Only One Planet Canada’s Heritage Rivers System: • Nominations must demonstrate strong community support, and must have the support of the provincial government. • A nominated river will not be designated until a management plan has been developed which seeks to protect the values for which the river has been nominated.

  43. Only One Planet Only One Planet Cumulative effects of incremental development Principles of management: the need to establish strategic development caps on a catchment basis must be formally recognised in water resource legislation, and appropriate procedures must be established to set and implement the caps in consultation with stakeholders; caps must be comprehensive and inclusive, stakeholder consultation programs must establish caps covering: water extraction from both surface and groundwaters; the construction of farm dams (number and volume), agricultural drains, impediments to fish passage, and levee banks; the development of irrigated pasture; the clearance of deep-rooted vegetation, and activities (eg: stock access) capable of degrading riparian vegetation; adaptive management principles must be rigorously incorporated within catchment planning processes; caps on development must be set well ahead of the point where the catchment enters a stressed or crisis situation; and last but not least, the caps must be set in a precautionary way.

  44. Only One Planet Only One Planet Recommendations: • Ecosystem inventories and representative protected areas: • National protocols be established for the collection and storage of freshwater ecosystem data to support the development of nationally compatible ecosystem classifications and inventories.

  45. Only One Planet Only One Planet Recommendations: • Ecosystem inventories and representative protected areas: • National protocols be established for the collection and storage of freshwater ecosystem attribute data to support the development of nationally compatible ecosystem classifications and inventories. • A national approach be developed to enable the identification of gaps in the existing protected area system relating specifically to freshwater ecosystems.

  46. Only One Planet Only One Planet Recommendations: • Ecosystem inventories and representative protected areas: • National protocols be established for the collection and storage of freshwater ecosystem attribute data to support the development of nationally compatible ecosystem classifications and inventories. • A national approach be developed to enable the identification of gaps in the existing protected area system relating specifically to freshwater ecosystems. • Programs be funded to establish and manage a comprehensive, adequate and representative network of inland aquatic protected areas (which would be developed as an outcome of the implementation of the first two recommendations).

  47. Only One Planet Only One Planet Recommendations: • The Canadian Heritage Rivers model: the Commonwealth should initiate, fund and convene an inter-State working group to discuss and develop mechanisms to protect high conservation value rivers, with particular focus on the possibility of adapting the Canadian Heritage Rivers System to the Australian situation.

  48. Only One Planet Only One Planet Recommendations: • Ramsar and national wetlands directory frameworks: • Immediate steps (coordinated and partly funded by the Commonwealth) should be taken to accelerate the use the existing Ramsar framework to identify, select and protect rivers of high conservation value (rivers of international importance); and

  49. Only One Planet Only One Planet Recommendations: • Ramsar and national wetlands directory frameworks: • Immediate steps (coordinated and partly funded by the Commonwealth) should be taken to accelerate the use the existing Ramsar framework to identify, select and protect rivers of high conservation value (rivers of international importance); and • Commonwealth funds should be provided to the States to accelerate the assessment of rivers against the importance criteria which underpin listing in the Directory of Important Wetlands in Australia (rivers of national importance), and States should be encouraged to add important rivers to the Directory.

  50. Only One Planet Only One Planet Recommendations (final slide) These recommendations, we believe, should be initiated within the cooperative frameworks of the NRS, CoAG and NRMMC, assisted by agencies such as DAFF, DEH (wetlands program), the National Audit, and Land and Water Australia (including involvement by the National Rivers Consortium).