Is the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 (WA) fit for purpose?Philip W. Bateman A , Patrick Pearlman B , Peter Robertson C , Beth Schultz D and Grant Wardell-Johnson A
A Department of Environment and Agriculture, School of Science, Curtin University, GPO Box U1987, Perth, WA 6845, Australia.
B Environmental Defender’s Office of Western Australia, City West Lotteries House, 2 Delhi Street, West Perth, WA 6005, Australia.
C The Wilderness Society, City West Lotteries House, 2 Delhi Street, West Perth, WA 6005, Australia.
D PO Box 203, Nedlands, WA 6009, Australia.
Authorship in alphabetical order.
Pacific Conservation Biology 23(2) 146-149 https://doi.org/10.1071/PC16024
Submitted: 9 June 2016 Accepted: 27 February 2017 Published: 24 March 2017
The Biodiversity Conservation Bill 2015 for Western Australia was criticised by scientists and conservation activists for its perceived flaws as it progressed from Bill through to Act. In this article, we summarise what we consider to be the major flaws in the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 (WA) and suggest future amendments that could make the Act fit for purpose. Such criticism is important as biodiversity conservation initiatives globally appear to be failing to prevent biodiversity losses. As we move further into the 21st Century we need to identify, enact and implement effective legislation that will produce successful conservation outcomes.
Additional keywords: Conservation Policy, conservation legislation, extinction, species protection.
ReferencesBatavia, C., and Nelson, M. P. (2016). Heroes or thieves? The ethical grounds for lingering concerns about new conservation. Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences , .
| Heroes or thieves? The ethical grounds for lingering concerns about new conservation.CrossRef |
Butchart, S. H., Walpole, M., Collen, B., Van Strien, A., Scharlemann, J. P., Almond, R. E., Baillie, J. E., Bomhard, B., Brown, C., Bruno, J., and Carpenter, K. E. (2010). Global biodiversity: indicators of recent declines. Science 328, 1164–1168.
| Global biodiversity: indicators of recent declines.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BC3cXmsVGjsb0%3D&md5=6cc91ea2faa92765f6a95bbac48bfe83CAS |
Calver, M., and Wardell-Johnson, G. (2004). Sustained unsustainability? An evaluation of evidence for a history of overcutting in the jarrah forests of Western Australia and its consequences for fauna conservation. In ‘Conservation of Australia’s Forest Fauna’. (Ed. D. Lunney.) pp. 94–114. (Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales: Sydney.)
Calver, M., and Wardell-Johnson, G. (2016). Protected areas, conservation and resource capacity: historical lessons for conservation from Western Australia’s South Dandalup Reserve. Australian Zoologist , .
| Protected areas, conservation and resource capacity: historical lessons for conservation from Western Australia’s South Dandalup Reserve.CrossRef |
Claymore, K., and Pearlman, P. (2016). White Paper: Western Australia’s Biodiversity Conservation Bill 2015: review and recommendations. Environmental Defender’s Office of Western Australia. Available at: http://www.edowa.org.au/assets/Uploads/20160210-Biodiversity-Bill-Review-FINAL-1-2.pdf
Clement, S., Moore, S. A., and Lockwood, M. (2015). Authority, responsibility and process in Australian biodiversity policy. Environmental and Planning Law Journal 32, 93–114.
Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (2009). EPBC Act list of threatened fauna. Australian Government, Canberra. Available at: http://www.environment.gov.au/cgi-bin/sprat/public/sprat.pl [accessed May 2016].
Environment Minister’s Office (2015). Media statement. Available at: https://www.mediastatements.wa.gov.au/Pages/Barnett/2015/11/New-biodiversity-laws-introduced-to-Parliament.aspx [accessed May 2016].
Fleming, P. A., and Bateman, P. W. (2016). The good, the bad, and the ugly: which Australian terrestrial mammal species attract most research? Mammal Review 46, 241–254.
| The good, the bad, and the ugly: which Australian terrestrial mammal species attract most research?CrossRef |
Pimm, S. L., Russell, G. J., Gittleman, J. L., and Brooks, T. M. (1995). The future of biodiversity. Science 269, 347–350.
| The future of biodiversity.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DyaK2MXntVyit7s%3D&md5=7e5fab814b2b7a680c7e7cfe3dc082e0CAS |
Pimm, S. L., Jenkins, C. N., Abell, R., Brooks, T. M., Gittleman, J. L., Joppa, L. N., Raven, P. H., Roberts, C. M., and Sexton, J. O. (2014). The biodiversity of species and their rates of extinction, distribution, and protection. Science 344, 1246752.
| The biodiversity of species and their rates of extinction, distribution, and protection.CrossRef | 1:STN:280:DC%2BC2cjntl2gsw%3D%3D&md5=5faac237e49867efe16a9130346c061dCAS |
Ritchie, E. G., Bradshaw, C. J., Dickman, C. R., Hobbs, R., Johnson, C. N., Johnston, E. L., Laurance, W. F., Lindenmayer, D., McCarthy, M. A., Nimmo, D. G., and Possingham, H. H. (2013). Continental-scale governance and the hastening of loss of Australia’s biodiversity. Conservation Biology 27, 1133–1135.
| Continental-scale governance and the hastening of loss of Australia’s biodiversity.CrossRef |
Rix, M. G., Edwards, D. L., Byrne, M., Harvey, M., and Roberts, J. D. (2015). Biogeography and speciation of terrestrial fauna in the south-western Australian biodiversity hotspot. Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society 90, 762–793.
| Biogeography and speciation of terrestrial fauna in the south-western Australian biodiversity hotspot.CrossRef |
The Leeuwin Group (2016). Biodiversity conservation in Western Australia: a critical issues paper prepared in response to the Biodiversity Conservation Bill 2015, March 2016.
The Wilderness Society, CCWA, WWF-Australia (2016). Biodiversity Bill must be amended to protect wildlife. Available at: https://www.wilderness.org.au/biodiversity-bill-must-be-amended-protect-wildlife [accessed 28 February 2017].
Tittensor, D. P., Walpole, M., Hill, S. L., Boyce, D. G., Britten, G. L., Burgess, N. D., Butchart, S. H., Leadley, P. W., Regan, E. C., Alkemade, R., and Baumung, R. (2014). A mid-term analysis of progress toward international biodiversity targets. Science 346, 241–244.
| A mid-term analysis of progress toward international biodiversity targets.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BC2cXhs12nsLbN&md5=4ba12addd54626951742cf24ea2afb39CAS |
Wardell-Johnson, G. W., Calver, M., Burrows, N., and Di Virgilio, G. (2015a). Integrating rehabilitation, restoration and conservation for a sustainable jarrah forest future during climate disruption. Pacific Conservation Biology 21, 175–185.
| Integrating rehabilitation, restoration and conservation for a sustainable jarrah forest future during climate disruption.CrossRef |
Wardell-Johnson, G., Schoeman, D., Schlacher, T., Wardell-Johnson, A., Weston, M. A., Shimizo, Y., and Conroy, G. (2015b). Re-framing values for a World Heritage future: what type of icon will K’gari-Fraser Island become? Australasian Journal of Environmental Management 22, 124–148.
| Re-framing values for a World Heritage future: what type of icon will K’gari-Fraser Island become?CrossRef |
Wardell-Johnson, G., Wardell-Johnson, A., Bradby, K., Robinson, T., Bateman, P. W., Williams, K., Keesing, A., Braun, K., Beckerling, J., and Burbridge, M. (2016). Application of a Gondwanan perspective to restore ecological integrity in the south-western Australian global biodiversity hotspot. Restoration Ecology 24, 805–815.
| Application of a Gondwanan perspective to restore ecological integrity in the south-western Australian global biodiversity hotspot.CrossRef |
Woinarski, J. C., Burbidge, A. A., and Harrison, P. L. (2015). Ongoing unraveling of a continental fauna: decline and extinction of Australian mammals since European settlement. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 112, 4531–4540.
| Ongoing unraveling of a continental fauna: decline and extinction of Australian mammals since European settlement.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BC2MXitlagsbg%3D&md5=12fa381393371d5e4a2f4426cf313f76CAS |
WWF Australia (2016). Proposed WA “conservation” law could send state’s species to the point of extinction. Available at: http://www.wwf.org.au/news/news/2016/proposed-wa-conservation-law-could-send-states-species-to-the-point-of-extinction#gs._qZ_dmg [accessed 28 February 2017].