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Only One Planet

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Only One Planet Only One Planet Representative freshwater reserves: better late than never: the role of representative reserves in the protection of freshwater ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Only One Planet


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Representative freshwater reserves better late
than never the role of representative reserves
in the protection of freshwater ecosystems.
  • Jon Nevill, B.E.Mech (Hons) B.A. M.Env.Sc.
  • Only One Planet
  • Ngaire Phillips, B.Sc. M.Sc (Hons) PhD. NIWA
    Australia

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Reserves are protected areas areas under a
particular management regime designed to protect
the areas ecosystems against threats. Representa
tive reserves are ONE COMPONENT in a protected
area framework. Other freshwater reserves have
been established, for example, with the primary
aim of protecting recreational or landscape
assets, or conserving multiple use areas (Ramsar
wetland sites, for example). The US Wild and
Scenic Rivers Program has protected a variety of
such sites, for example. Currently The
Wilderness Society is arguing the case for the
protection of large pristine river systems for
their wilderness values (in northern Queensland,
for example).
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What are representative reserves?
  • Representative reserves are areas selected to
    protect representative examples of natural
    ecosystems, features or phenomena. They are
    established for the
  • protection of biodiversity
  • 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 and uses.

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Why do we need representative reserves?
  • Representative reserves are needed because
  • Australia has a large variety of freshwater
    ecosystems, many of which receive little or no
    protection through existing reserve systems
  • Threatening processes affect many of our
    remaining rivers, wetlands and aquifers
  • Biodiversity protection requires the setting
    aside of representative examples of all
    ecosystems
  • Aquatic ecosystems have other ecological values,
    which require protection, including rarity,
    naturalness and special features.

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Australias international commitments
representative reserve systems
Ramsar Convention 1971 - applies to wetlands
only wise use inventories World Charter for
Nature 1982 - terrestrial, marine and freshwater
ecosystems International Convention on
Biological Diversity 1992 - terrestrial, marine
and freshwater ecosystems
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Australias national commitments representative
reserve systems
  • 1992 InterGovernmental Agreement on the
    Environment
  • 1992 National Forest Policy Statement
  • 1992 National Strategy for Ecologically
    Sustainable Development, and
  • 1996 National Strategy for the Conservation of
    Australia's Biological Diversity.

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Australias national / State reserve systems
1890 - 1970
  • 1890s first national parks declared.
  • Growth of the parks estate based on - natural
    beauty - wilderness - recreational - nature
    conservation, and - cultural values

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Australias national / State reserve systems
1970 - 1995
  • 1970s first marine parks declared
  • 1970s growth of concerns about representation
    of terrestrial reserves
  • 1991 Commonwealth Ocean Rescue 2000 program
  • 1992 National Reserves System Program
  • 1995 Interim Biogeographic Regionalisation of
    Australia

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Australias national /State reserve systems 1996
- 2000
  • 1996 National biodiversity strategy
  • 1996 Natural Heritage Trust funding supports
    the NRSP
  • 1997 Oceans bioregionalisation developed
  • 1998 National Oceans Policy
  • 1999 Oceans Action Plan includes funding from
    the NHT

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Australias national /State reserve 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 FW ecosystems are
protected. The most significant gaps probably
relate to river and aquifer ecosystems.
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Representative freshwater reserves commitments
by States
  • New South Wales Rivers and Estuaries Policy
    1993 Wetlands Management Policy 1996
    Biodiversity Strategy 1999
  • Victoria Nature Conservation Strategy 1987
    Biodiversity strategy 1997
  • Western Australia Wetlands Conservation Policy
    1997
  • Queensland Wetlands Strategy 1999.

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Representative freshwater reserves commitments
by States
  • Northern Territory A Strategy for Conservation
    of the Biological Diversity of Wetlands, 2000
  • ACT Nature Conservation Strategy 1998
  • Tasmania Developing Tasmanias nature
    conservation strategy 2000
  • South Australia is developing a draft wetlands
    policy (no commitment to representative
    freshwater reserves at this stage).

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Representative freshwater reserves programs by
States
  • Victoria Heritage Rivers Program 1988
    Heritage Rivers Act 1992 15 Representative
    Rivers designated program incomplete.
  • ACT several reserves designated covering river
    and wetland areas managed under the Nature
    Conservation Strategy

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Representative freshwater reserves programs by
States
  • Western Australia
  • Northern Territory
  • Queensland
  • New South Wales
  • Tasmania.
  • - no specific programs to meet commitments.

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Representative freshwater reserves programs by
States
Summary All States except SA are committed to
the development of systems of representative
freshwater reserves however Victoria and the
ACT are alone in establishing programs to
implement this commitment.
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Difficulties causing delays in establishing
systems of representative freshwater reserves
  • permeable boundaries inherent management
    difficulties
  • focus in NRS on broadscale bioregional planning
    matters of fine scale (such as freshwater
    ecosystems) deferred
  • no agreed national approach to freshwater
    ecosystem classification enabling
    identification of representativeness
  • comprehensive freshwater ecosystem inventories
    remain incomplete in all Australian States

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Recommendations
  • Our two central recommendations are that
  • agreed National methods for the classification of
    freshwater ecosystems into (representative)
    categories should be established, which can be
    incorporated into a comprehensive national
    inventory and
  • a national approach should be developed to enable
    the identification of gaps in the existing
    reserve system relating specifically to
    freshwater ecosystems.

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Recommendations
These recommendations, we believe, should be
initiated within the cooperative frameworks of
the NRS and ANZECC, assisted by agencies such as
AFFA, EA (wetlands program), the National Audit,
and Land and Water Australia (including
involvement by the National Rivers Consortium).
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ASL representative reserves working group
Working Group Reference Group Discussion
paper www.asl.org.au www.onlyoneplanet.com.au
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