Submissions for the Inquiry into the Loss of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Decline in Victoria are now open. I spoke to the motion in the chamber and you can watch the video below. I am also a member of the committee for the inquiry.
The world is in the 6th mass species extinction, and it is driven by one species – humans.
The world’s biodiversity (variation in life) is under intense stress and pressure, causing a loss of biodiversity that has led to a Biodiversity Emergency. This is recognised and reported by scientists around the world and by leading global organisations such as the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).
These threats to nature and decline in biodiversity are also reported in Victoria. The 2018 State of the Environment Report from Victoria’s Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability was damning. The status of 60% of the Biodiversity Indicators are rated as “poor” and none are rated as “good”; in terms of trends, 51% of the Biodiversity Indicators are deteriorating and only 1 out of 35 had improved and that is Private Land Conservation.
The main drivers of Biodiversity Loss are over-exploitation (harvesting), pollution, non-native (introduced) species, habitat loss and climate damage. So to prevent further biodiversity loss and ecosystem decline and to protect and restore species and ecosystems, we must tackle these factors. Exploitation, disregard and disrespect of animals is the major contributor to all drivers of Biodiversity Loss.
All submissions must consider the terms of reference, which are:
(1) Consider the decline of Victoria’s ecosystems and measures to restore habitats and populations of threatened and endangered species, including but not limited to —
Define the Problem:
(a) the extent of the decline of Victoria’s biodiversity and the likely impact on people, particularly First Peoples, and ecosystems, if more is not done to address this, including consideration of climate emergency impacts;
Assess key Instruments & Tools:
(b) the adequacy of the legislative framework protecting Victoria’s environment, including grasslands, forests and the marine and coastal environment, and native species;
(c) the adequacy and effectiveness of government programs and funding protecting and restoring Victoria’s ecosystems;
(d) legislative, policy, program, governance and funding solutions to facilitate ecosystem and species protection, restoration and recovery in Victoria, in the context of climate emergency impacts;
(e) opportunities to restore Victoria’s environment while upholding First Peoples’ connection to country, and increasing and diversifying employment opportunities in Victoria; and
(f) any other related matters.