Mitigating the effects of environmental change on Australia

Three key takeaways

Australia’s unique ecosystem has shown remarkable resilience over time yet is now facing unprecedented challenges due to the persistent impact of human-induced environmental change. Catastrophic natural disasters, such as devastating floods, damaging cyclones, record-breaking droughts, and raging bushfires, have become increasingly frequent, causing widespread damage to the country’s valuable natural resources.

Despite the urgency of the situation, there is still hope. Taking swift action can make a difference and help prevent reaching the point of no return in halting the detrimental effects of environmental change.

In our latest eBook —Mitigating the effects of environmental change on Australia’s fragile ecosystem—the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife (FNPW) discuss how we can help change the course of environmental change.

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Mitigating the effects of environmental change on Australia’s fragile ecosystem. How to take action now for the future

Key takeaway #1: Prioritise a whole-of-system approach
Protecting and restoring biodiversity is crucial to ensure that appropriate species thrive in their natural habitats. The relationships between fauna and biodiversity values are vital in preserving ecological balance. To sustain Australia’s fragile ecosystems, it is essential to protect and preserve native trees and plants that sequester carbon and help reduce the impact of environmental change.

What governments and organisations can do
To effectively mitigate the impacts of environmental change, it’s vital to adopt a whole-of-system approach that involves all stakeholders, including governments, businesses, non-government organisations (NGOs), Indigenous communities, and individuals. The invaluable knowledge and practices of First Nations peoples who have been working with the Australian landscape sustainably for tens of thousands of years can provide essential guidance and a framework for how Australia can contribute to a more sustainable future.

Recommendations:

  1. Prioritise collaboration and effective coordination among all stakeholders, including grassroots movements, governments, businesses, NGOs, Indigenous communities, and individuals.
    2. Identify and engage organisations that can coordinate efforts among all involved parties.
    3. Work together to best position all relevant stakeholders to facilitate necessary change and achieve on-the-ground outcomes.

Key takeaway #2: Coordinate funding and resourcing for projects
Environmental change creates a harmful cycle, where each event exacerbates the other. It also poses a challenge to environmentalists’ work, as floods and fires can make sites inaccessible or too sensitive for new vegetation. This hinders efforts to mitigate the impacts of future natural disasters and to grow species with fire tolerance.

What governments and organisations can do
Volunteers and community organisations are making a difference; however, they face limitations in terms of numbers, availability, funding, and resources. Scaling their efforts to significantly impact the rate and scale of environmental change can be challenging.

Recommendations:

  1. Collaborate with stakeholders to coordinate funding and resources for environmental projects.
    2. Encourage organisations that facilitate coordination to take a more active role in coordinating funding and resources.
    3. Prioritise projects that have the potential to scale their impact with additional funding and resources.

Key takeaway #3: Establish short-term and long-term goals
Maintaining healthy vegetation and animal habitats requires effective connectivity. However, as environmental changes continue to persist, animals may need to relocate in search of suitable habitats, which can limit their ability to spread natural resources and vegetation.

What governments and organisations can do
Governments and organisations are taking steps to establish and meet long-term sustainability goals, including setting carbon emissions reduction targets and investing in more sustainable practices. While achieving carbon zero by 2050 is an essential goal, it’s important not to overlook the importance of what’s required right now, as well as offering directions to future generations. This includes acknowledging and incorporating the valuable knowledge and practices of Indigenous communities as well as committing to Healthy Country Planning with First Nations peoples to care for Country and the land, water, resources, and culture on which First Nations people depend on.

Recommendations:

  1. Prioritise setting and meeting short-term sustainability goals in addition to long-term goals and consider setting targets beyond current lifetimes to ensure the sustainability of the planet for future generations.
    2. Invest in research and development to find innovative and sustainable solutions.
    3. Prioritise transparency and accountability, regularly monitoring and reporting progress toward sustainability goals.

Take action today to create a brighter future
Don’t wait to take action – download the eBook today and discover how you can make a meaningful and proactive contribution to creating a brighter future for Australia’s ecosystem.

For more information on how environmental organisations, such as the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife (FNPW), can help governments and businesses make a more substantial contribution to environmental protection and sustainability, contact the team today.