Australia has a great parks and reserve system –about 13% of the continent is protected. But these parks and reserves don’t exist in isolation. Increasingly our landscapes have been dissected into a patchwork of paddocks producing our food and fibre. Within this sea of agriculture sit our protected areas, increasingly isolated and vulnerable.
If the integrity of our parks and reserves are to survive long-term, then conservation also needs to increasingly occur across the rural landscape managed by farmers. We need our farmers to not only grow our food but also manage parts of their farms for conservation.
If you think state or federal governments will provide the ongoing support for landscape-wide conservation, think again. Recent cuts to Catchment Management Agencies and the biodiversity and carbon farming initiative are part of a wider run down in the public investment in land management.
A leading ecologist, Hugh Possingham has called for a new order, where maybe more than half of all conservation of Australia’s wildlife needs to be done by individuals, not governments. Clearly, a more sophisticated and ongoing conservation approach is required.
This survey asks you how city and country people can come together to give nature a hand and support landscape-wide conservation.