Scientists’ declaration: Accelerating forest, woodland and grassland destruction in Australia

Scientists’ declaration: Accelerating forest, woodland and grassland destruction in Australia

photo credit: Christine Hosking

Australia’s land clearing rate is once again among the highest in the world. Remaining forests and woodlands are critical for much of our wildlife, for the health and productivity of our lands and waters, and for the character of our nation. Beginning in the 1990s, governments gradually increased protection of these remaining forests and woodlands. However, those laws are now being wound back. The State of Queensland has suffered the greatest loss of forests and woodlands. But while stronger laws by the mid-2000s achieved dramatic reductions of forest and woodland loss, recent weakening of laws reversed the trend. Loss of mature forest has more than trebled since 2009 [1]. In Victoria, home to four of Australia’s five most heavily cleared bioregions, land clearing controls were weakened in 2013, and in New South Wales, proposed biodiversity laws provide increased opportunities for habitat destruction. Of the eleven world regions highlighted as global deforestation fronts, eastern Australia is the only one in a developed country. This problem threatens much of Australia’s extraordinary biodiversity and, if not redressed, will blight the environmental legacy we leave future generations. Read more here

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Research Programs: 
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