With 2010 declared the International Year of Biodiversity, ACF is calling on the Government to rapidly scale up investment for biodiversity and climate change adaptation to over $1 billion a year to address the crisis confronting our wildlife.
“We have neglected our wildlife for too long. Close to half of all mammal extinctions in the last 200 years have occurred in Australia,” said Amy Hankinson, ACF spokesperson.
“Australia is one of only 17 mega-diverse countries that collectively support about 70 per cent of all species on earth.
“Australia’s wildlife is at risk from climate change, which compounds threats such as invasive species and feral animals, poor land and water management.
“The Government needs to implement the recommendations outlined in its own report Australia’s Biodiversity and Climate Change (August 2009) which calls for an urgent and sustained increase in investment in the environment.
“Currently less than half a billion dollars each year is allocated to environmental management via the Caring for Our Country program. By contrast over $5 billion is provided each year in fossil fuel subsidies, half of which goes to the mining and transport sector.
“The Government needs to commit significant funds to match the crisis facing our life support systems from the impacts of climate change. This should include restoring money to Land and Water Australia, a major provider of scientific research, which was axed in 2009.
“Protecting wildlife and biodiversity is about looking after our life-support systems. Our rivers, forests, oceans and landscapes all contribute to our well being.