What’s Being Done
Vulnerabilities and Management Responses
There are a number of activities being undertaken at State and local level to reduce the vulnerability of our biodiversity now and into the future. These are outlined below.
While the Department of Fire and Emergency Services is responsible for coordinating emergency services during a bushfire that threatens life and property, the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions is responsible for the management of conservation areas in order to prevent bushfires.
The National Weeds and Productivity Research Programme is being undertaken by the Curtin University of Technology to assess the impact of climate change on the on agriculture weeds. The completed study suggested it was possible to identify a priority list of species for now in anticipation for future climate change.
Concern is so great regarding amphibian declines that the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has set up the Declining Amphibian Populations Task Force (DAPTF) to investigate the matter. Yet despite rapid losses in amphibian populations, none of the species found in the NAR are listed as threatened under the Wildlife Conservation Act 1950 or the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
The Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions has guidelines for the management of disease. Management of dieback should be consistent with the Department’s Corporate Policy Statement No. 3 Management of Phytophthora Disease (2015) and other relevant information.
A number of flora and vegetation surveys have been undertaken to provide a greater level of detail regarding vegetation types to determine priorities for protection. This information is supported in the City of Greater Geraldton by the preparation of a local biodiversity strategy.
The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) maintains a list of organisms that have been classified under the Biosecurity and Agriculture Management Act 2007 (BAM Act) as either Declared pests; Permitted; Prohibited or Permitted Requiring a permit. A list of Declared pests can be obtained from the DPIRD website; however, this list is currently not able to identify declared pests in a particular area.
The Department of Parks and Wildlife has responsibility for the management of biodiversity, fire, pest animal and plant management, and weeds on unallocated Crown land and in the conservation estate, including areas designated for eco-tourism and passive recreation.
Environmental protection in Western Australia is provided primarily by the Environmental Protection Act 1986 (EP Act). Part IV of the EP Act enables the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) to undertake the environmental impact assessment of a proposal if it is considered likely to have a significant effect on the environment. Section (S) 48A of the EP Act relates to the assessment of planning schemes, whereas other proposals are assessed under S38 of the EP Act. Licensing of prescribed premises occurs under Part V of the EP Act, as does clearing of native vegetation. Protection of native vegetation remnants through conservation reserves is important to maintain and improve biodiversity and prevent further degradation of vegetation.