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Reimbursing the future: an evaluation of motivational, voluntary, price-based, property-right, and regulatory incentives for the conservation of biodiversity

Biodiversity Series, Paper No. 9
M.D. Young, N. Gunningham, J. Elix, J. Lambert, B. Howard, P. Grabosky and E. McCrone
CSIRO Division of Wildlife and Ecology, the Australian Centre for Environmental Law, and Community Solutions
Biodiversity Unit, Department of the Environment, Sport and Territories, 1996
ISBN 0 642 24429 4

Chapter 1: Introduction

In 1993, the Australian government ratified the International Convention on Biological Diversity. This action committed Australia to a number of biodiversity objectives, including finding ways of using incentive instruments and mechanisms to promote the conservation of biodiversity and encourage its ecologically sustainable use, a commitment which is reinforced by our National Strategy for Ecologically Sustainable Development and the National Strategy for the Conservation of Australia's Biological Diversity (abbreviated as National Biodiversity Conservation Strategy). This report, the methodology for which is summarised above, is about ways in which we can put that commitment into action.

1.1 What is biodiversity?

For many – if not most – Australians, biodiversity conservation is a new term. Certainly the idea of regarding the wide variety of biological diversity as something to be valued in its own right is one which scientists in the area have been using for some years, but the concept has not been widely discussed in the public arena. It is, in some ways, a difficult concept to grasp – but it is also a vital one in terms of environmental policy. In Article 2 of the International Convention on Biological Diversity, which Australia was one of the first countries to sign and subsequently ratify, biodiversity is defined as:

the variability among living organisms from all sources including, inter alia, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part.

Similarly, the National Biodiversity Conservation Strategy defines biodiversity as:

the variety of all life forms – the different plants, animals and micro-organisms, the genes they contain, and the ecosystems of which they form a part.

Biodiversity is usually considered on three levels. The first of these is the diversity of entire ecosystems, such as the Great Barrier Reef, the arid systems of central Australia or the tropical rainforests of north-east Queensland. Within these ecosystems is found the second level of biodiversity, namely the variety of different species which live and interact with each other. Finally, there is diversity within each of those species – genetic differences which allow a species to survive and adapt to changes in their environment, such as disease or other unpredictable events. In short, biodiversity is "a blanket term for the natural biological wealth that undergrids human life and well-being".1

1.2 Why is biodiversity conservation important?

Humanity derives all its food and many medicines and industrial products from both domesticated and undomesticated components of biodiversity. As the National Biodiversity Conservation Strategy points out, "biological diversity is the primary source for fulfilment of humanity's needs and provides a basis for adaptation to changing environments. An environment rich in biological diversity offers the broadest array of options for sustainable economic activity, for nurturing human welfare and for adapting to change".2

Apart from the obvious benefits for national productivity and the long-term security of the ecosystems that support us, there are also aesthetic and ethical arguments in favour of preserving biodiversity. The existence of natural landscapes contributes to the emotional well being of a society, and offers many passive recreational benefits to people. Various cultures, including Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, base their spiritual life in part upon an affinity with their natural environment. And finally, many people believe that humanity has a moral duty to avoid the extinction of other species.

Box 1.1 Australia's rich and highly endemic fauna

Australia's flora and fauna is classified as 'mega diverse,' a term used to describe ecosystems of exceptional variety and uniqueness. Two of the world's three species of monotremes – the echidna and the platypus – are endemic (unique) to Australia. Australia is further distinguished by the preponderance and diversity of its marsupials. We have some 141 marsupial species of which over 90% are endemic to Australia. About 58% of our bat species are found only in Australia. Of the nearly 720 native species of birds listed by Schodde and Tiddeman, more than 40% are found only in Australia.

Australian reptile fauna is also highly distinct: 89% of the more than 750 reptile species found in Australia and its external Territories occur nowhere else. Similarly, some 93% of our 200 species of frogs are endemic to Australia.

A similar story can be told for Australia's invertebrates. Several insect families are thought to be endemic to Australia and endemism at the genus and species level is very high. For example - compared with other parts of the world, Australian ants are widely distributed, diverse and abundant. There are more ants on the 519 hectares that comprise the Black Mountain Nature Reserve in Canberra than are found in all of Britain. Indeed there are at least as many genera in this tiny Canberra Reserve as there are in all of Britain, which is thought to have about 50 species of ants. More than half of the known invertebrate fauna species remains to be described and an estimated third awaits discovery.

A significant number of Australian fauna have ancestry which derives from millions of years ago in what is known as the Gondwanian period. One of Australia's best known is the Queensland lung fish which is found naturally only in Queensland's Burnett and Mary Rivers.

The story is similar for our marine environment. Of the estimated 600 inshore fish species found in Australia's temperate southern zone, 85% are endemic. Eleven percent are shared only with New Zealand. Endemism at the genus level is about 38% of an estimated 290 genera.

Source: Department of Environment, Sport and Territories, Biodiversity Unit (1994) Australia's Biodiversity: An overview of selected significant components.3

This belief is echoed in the National Strategy which states: "We share the Earth with many other life forms that warrant our respect, whether or not they are of benefit to us. Earth belong to the future as well as the present; no single species or generation can claim it as its own"4.

In summary, biodiversity is essential in the maintenance of human life on earth, and scientists have long acknowledged that the preservation of biodiversity is, by definition, vital for an ecologically sustainable society. But despite this recognition, the alteration of ecosystems, species loss and declines in genetic diversity continue at rates far greater than that which occurs naturally. The reasons for this are varied. The introduction of exotic species has damaged Australia's unique ecosystems and threatened the existence of many native species of flora and fauna. Australia's agricultural and pastoral industries, which have played a central role in increasing the nation's productivity and enhancing the nation's economic and social development, have also had the side effect of putting pressure on the natural environment. This pressure has resulted in serious depletion and degradation of the natural resource base which sustains us and all the ecosystems and habitats on which many of our species depend. While some extinctions are simply part of the natural evolutionary process, human induced acceleration of the rate of extinction is contrary to the goal of achieving ecological sustainability.

1.3 Australia's status and record

Australia has such a rich variety of life that it has been classified as 'megadiverse.' There are only eleven other countries which come within this classification. Many of our species are endemic to Australia, meaning that they do not exist anywhere else. Many are still unknown.

Yet historically, Australia has not done well in caring for this rich diversity of species. Although species extinctions are a part of natural history, the rate of extinction in Australia in the two hundred years since European settlement has accelerated dramatically. During this time, Australia has established the highest known rate of extinction of mammal species in the world. Of our 258 known species of mammals, 138 are either extinct, endangered or vulnerable. Seventy six species of Australian vascular plants are presumed to have become extinct since European settlement and 5,031 vascular plant taxa are considered to be rare or threatened.5

More than half of all major biogeographic regions in Australia are not represented or are poorly represented in a National Park or Nature Reserve.6 Ecosystems ranging from temperate grasslands, through coastal heathlands and mangrove communities to a variety of arid communities have been identified as urgently requiring protection.7 Clearing for urban development, agriculture, forestry, mining, infrastructure and transport development have all contributed significantly to the loss of biodiversity.

This poor record of biodiversity conservation is not merely a historical event. Half of all animal extinctions in Australia have occurred this century, with six species having become extinct in the last 50 years. In 1990, land clearing for agriculture contributed an estimated 27% of Australia's total net emissions of greenhouse gases.8

Unfortunately, there is a high degree of uncertainty which accompanies any discussion about biodiversity conservation. As noted above, many of the species which we are seeking to preserve are still unknown. Scientists believe that some of these play a key role in repairing distressed ecosystems. Whether these species will serve any direct economic purpose is still a matter for speculation. Even with known species, the complex interrelation of species and ecosystems make it difficult to determine the best course of action. Until we have determined answers to questions such as these, it would seem wise to err on the side of caution. The cautious approach is indicated in the Intergovernmental Agreement on the Environment, the National Strategy for Ecologically Sustainable Development and the National Biodiversity Conservation Strategy.

There is vast potential for biodiversity protection in Australia's megadiverse ecosystems which is not being realised. But while our history of biodiversity protection has not been a happy one, our determination to improve that history is equally important to consider. There is a desire on the part of government and industry to work together with the community on this issue to find innovative ways to prevent further loss and to utilise the natural resources which remain to best advantage. This report is part of that process.

1.4 Conservation measures

Because biodiversity is an extremely complex subject, which impacts on and is impacted upon by a wide variety of human activity, it is necessary to use a range of measures to conserve it. Many pieces of legislation, and other government initiatives, have effects on biodiversity. Some directly address biodiversity issues, while others do so indirectly as part of a desire for other objectives such as the maintenance of agricultural productivity, or the prevention of soil erosion or water pollution.

One measure which obviously relates to biodiversity conservation is the preservation of endangered species. The Commonwealth Government and a number of State Governments have legislation which identifies endangered, threatened or vulnerable species and promotes their recovery by the prohibition of interference with those species or the earmarking of particular areas or habitats in which they exist.

There is a wide range of Commonwealth legislation which impacts upon the preservation of biodiversity. Some of these are obvious, such as the Wildlife Protection (Regulation of Exports & Imports) Act 1982, the National Parks & Wildlife Conservation Act 1975, the Endangered Species Protection Act 1992; and the World Heritage Properties Conservation Act 1983. Others have implied biodiversity objectives which are not so immediately striking but are equally important, such as the Quarantine Act 1908.

The States also have a range of legislation which has a direct impact on the preservation of biodiversity in areas not subject to Commonwealth control. These include the Queensland Nature Conservation Act 1992 and Water Resources Amendment Act 1993, the Victorian National Parks Act 1975, Wildlife Act 1975 and the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988, the NSW Fisheries Management Act 1994 and the South Australian Native Vegetation Act 1991, to name just a few.

In addition to legislative measures, Australia also has in place a number of agreements and initiatives which impact upon biodiversity. Of particular significance is the Intergovernmental Agreement on the Environment (IGAE), which was signed in February 1992. This agreement is an attempt to facilitate a spirit of co-operation between the Commonwealth Government, State Governments and local governments of Australia on matters of environmental importance. According to Australia's National Strategy for Ecologically Sustainable Development, the IGAE provides a mechanism for a cooperative national approach to the environment and a reduction in inter-governmental environmental disputes. If successful, the IGAE will remove the necessity for the Commonwealth Government to depend on its constitutional treaty powers in order to implement measures such as the Convention on Biological Diversity. Hopefully it has already created a "spirit of cooperation and consultation between governments on environmental issues."9 Schedules to the IGAE deal with cooperative agreements between State Governments and the Commonwealth Government on specific environmental issues. Schedule 6 deals with biodiversity, and puts into place inter-governmental arrangements for the ratification of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the development of National Biological Diversity Conservation Strategies.

Among the wide range of initiatives and legislative measures which have been employed by Australia to address the conservation of biodiversity, some are local in nature, some operate at State or Commonwealth level, and others involve agreements with many other nations. A range of these approaches will be discussed later in this report.

1.5 Why strive for ecologically sustainable use?

One of the striking features of the Convention on Biological Diversity is the holistic approach it takes to the protection of biodiversity. Article 1 of the Convention states its objectives in very broad terms, as:

The conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilisation of genetic resources, including by appropriate access to genetic resources and by the appropriate transfer of relevant technologies, taking into account all rights over resources and to technologies, and by appropriate funding.

This broad approach is also present in Australia's own National Strategy for Ecologically Sustainable Development. The goal of that Strategy is:

Development that improves the total quality of life, both now and in the future, in a way that maintains the ecological processes on which life depends.

Protecting biological diversity and maintaining essential ecological processes and life-support systems is identified as one of three core objectives, together with others such as enhancing individual and community well-being and welfare by following a path of economic development that safeguards the welfare of future generations, and providing equity within and between generations.

The integration of biodiversity conservation with social and economic objectives of development reflects a recent and important shift in thinking about conservation issues. Traditionally, most people have perceived the central instrument as one of wildlife protection: "locking up" of resources through the creation of national parks, or outright bans on the taking of, or interference with, certain listed species already at risk of disappearance.

This report certainly does not suggest that this type of preservation is redundant; on the contrary, the use of reserve land is central to the conservation of biodiversity. In fact, it is clear that more protected areas are needed, and that the management of current areas for conservation purposes needs improvement – this is explicitly acknowledged in the Intergovernmental Agreement on the Environment. But in addition to this, it is now recognised that private land, lands outside parks, as well as streams and oceans, can and should make a valuable contribution to biodiversity conservation, and that integrated planning and management at a bioregional level is required so that resources can be used at an ecologically sustainable level. Natural resources which are used for commercial purposes can and should be considered as part of Australia's biological diversity and should feature in any discussion of biodiversity protection.

A cursory look at the statistics of land use in Australia is sufficient to make clear the necessity of off-reserve biodiversity conservation. More than two thirds of Australia's land mass – around 500 million hectares – is owned or managed by private landholders. Only around 40 million hectares is held in the reserve system10 . Not only is the reserve system inadequate in covering a representative sample of the diversity of ecosystems present in Australia, but until recently management of reserved areas has often focused more on human use and recreation than on conservation of biodiversity. Any attempt to comprehensively protect Australia's biological resources must look at integrating management of the relatively small percentage of land directly under the control of government, with conservation across the landscape.

This move to include off-reserve lands in biodiversity conservation has philosophical as well as practical underpinnings. By emphasising a holistic approach to the problems of conserving biodiversity, we are able to involve the community in solving these problems. By making people think of natural resources as involving their backyards as well as national parks, we can move away from a viewing of biodiversity as something separate from human activity, and towards seeing it as a necessary part of our everyday existence.

The move away from total reliance on the traditional approach of conservation through 'protected areas' has another important advantage: it is forcing policy makers to take seriously the concept of 'sustainable use.' The traditional 'locked up' areas of biodiversity conservation are owned and managed by governments who, while pressed for resources, are still less constrained by market forces than private sector interests and are thus in a better position to preserve species which have no present economic value. However, when one considers the large proportion of biological resources that are found on land which is privately owned, it becomes obvious that ways must be found not simply to prevent any use of these resources, but also to ensure that their use occurs in ways which ensure their protection while still being profitable.

Since the publication in 1987 of 'Our Common Future,' a report by the World Commission on Environment and Development, attention has focused on the terms 'sustainable development' and 'sustainable use.' The World Commission defined sustainable development as:

...a process in which the exploitation of resources, the direction of investments, the orientation of technological development and the institutional changes are all in harmony and enhance both current and future potential to meet human needs and aspirations.11

However, the term sustainable development has been interpreted in varying ways. Sometimes, especially when used by economists, the term is employed to refer to a method of "meet(ing) demands for food and fibre in a way that yields an economic return on a continuing basis".12 However, in developing Australia's national strategy, care was taken to define the process as working towards 'ecologically sustainable development.' The National Strategy for Ecologically Sustainable Development outlines the key principles of this concept as:

effective integration of economic, environmental and social considerations; paying due regard to the precautionary principle; recognition of the global dimension; development of a strong, growing and diversified economy; adoption of cost effective and flexible policy instruments; and acknowledgment of the value and necessity of consulting and involving the broad community.13

One aspect of ecologically sustainable development is 'sustainable use'. As the World Conservation Union's strategy for sustainable living 'Caring for the Earth' observes:

'Sustainable development' is used ... to mean: improving the quality of human life while living within the carrying capacity of supporting ecosystems.

A 'sustainable economy' is the product of sustainable development. It maintains its natural resource base. It can continue to develop by adapting, and through improvements in knowledge, organisation, technical efficiency, and wisdom.14

It is within that context that the World Conservation Union strategy defines 'sustainable use' as "... applicable only to renewable resources: It means using them at rates within their capacity for renewal". As Young15 suggests, sustainable use is a means of "increase(ing) production without taking from the environment and the ecological processes that maintain it". This might mean altering production methods to ease the damage caused by existing industries, whether they be agriculture, pastoralism, fishing or forestry, or it may mean ensuring that if species are used for commercial purposes then their use is in a manner which ensures their continued balance within nature.16 Article 2 of the Convention on Biological Diversity defines sustainable use as:

The use of components of biological diversity in a way and at a rate that does not lead to the long term decline of biological diversity, thereby maintaining its potential to meet the needs and aspirations of present and future generations.

Viewed in this sense, sustainable use is central to the conservation of biodiversity and thus to the attainment of ecological sustainability.

1.6 Key objectives

Traditional approaches to biodiversity conservation are clearly insufficient when used in isolation. As one recent report put it:

conservation is in crisis... Throughout most regions of the globe, plant and animal species continue to go extinct, ecosystems continue to be destroyed or degraded, biological diversity continues to be lost, despite elaborate efforts to the contrary.17

Yet there is substantial potential for protecting biodiversity in ways which are consistent with community values and which also encourage its ecologically sustainable use. This can be done by concentrating on three main objectives:

In other words, there are not only threats which can be addressed, but also opportunities to be realised, if only we can devise appropriate policies to achieve these purposes.

1.6.1 Incentive instruments and mechanisms

What instruments can most effectively be deployed to conserve biodiversity and encourage its ecologically sustainable use? The conventional approach suggests that the main choice is between using economic instruments on the one hand, and regulation on the other.

Unsurprisingly, many traditional economists argue in favour of the former approach, suggesting that fiscal instruments, charges, introducing and changing property rights, systems of trading and creating markets or other financial incentives are the most effective means of inducing people to change their behaviour, and of doing so in the most flexible manner.

In contrast, lawyers and regulatory officials tend to favour regulation in the form of quotas and bans, zoning requirements, land use and clearance controls or other variants of command and control. In their view, the regulatory approach is tried and tested, and delivers greater predictability and certainty of outcome, albeit at greater cost, than do economic-based alternatives.

We find these conventional arguments about whether the economic or the regulatory approach is to be preferred unhelpful. In our view, the mutually exclusive treatment of economic mechanisms and regulation obscures far more than it reveals. In practice, many economic mechanisms rely on a substantial underpinning of government regulation for their effective implementation. Moreover, there are many circumstances where market mechanisms can be used in conjunction with and enhance the success of regulation and vice versa.18 More broadly, the chances of successful policy design are likely to be improved by utilising an array of policy instruments designed in a complementary fashion, rather than single instruments acting alone.19

Accordingly, in this report we develop a very different framework for the analysis and resolution of biodiversity conservation issues. Our approach emphasises the need to develop optimal policy mixes in accordance with articulated policy design principles. It also stresses the need to match specific mixes of instruments with threats to biodiversity occurring in specific circumstances, and to ensure that the institutions which deliver biodiversity policy objectives are appropriate to community needs. Finally, we develop a new framework for analysing the role of incentive instruments and mechanisms which focuses on the best way to combine them to develop a mix of instruments. We find this approach to be more useful than traditional approaches that argue about the superiority of each instrument in isolation.

We also recognise that the full range of policy instruments that might be used to protect biodiversity values is much wider than merely economic incentives or regulation and includes voluntary approaches, education and community based mechanisms and research. Once it is acknowledged that a wide range of the instruments have legitimate and important roles to play in conserving biodiversity, it is possible to move beyond the sterile 'either or' debate engaged in by proponents of one or other mechanism. Instead, one can ask: how, in what circumstances, and in what combinations, can regulation, economic mechanisms and other instruments, achieve optimal policy outcomes? Table 1.1 below provides a brief summary of the range of instruments available for consideration in such a policy package.

Table 1.1: Instruments available for biodiversity conservation and its ecologically sustainable use
   Tax Policy         Charges           Financial         Property Rights    Leases &          
   Programs                                                                  Licenses          

  Accelerated        Tourist levies    Management        Tradeable           Harvest         
  depreciation                                           quotas              licences          

  Exemption from     Entry charges     Grants            Tradeable           Breeding        
  local                                                  fishing             licences        
  government                                             shares                                  

  Exemption from     Royalties         Compensation      Development         Export permits 
  capital gains                        payments          rights                                       

  Deductibility      User fees         Access to free    Offset              Conditional     
  of                                   advice            schemes             resource       
  non-income                                                                 security            

  Donations          Hypothecation     Subsidies         Tradeable           Bio-prospecting         

                                       Rate rebates      Tradeable                        

                                                         Easements and                    

                                                         Exclusive use                    

Enforcement        Bonds and         Regulations       Accreditation    Empowerment       
                    Deposits                              Schemes                            

  Fines              Security          Harvesting        Special          Third party     
                     deposits          permits           status           rights to        
                                                         agreements       challenge         

  Forfeiture of      Conditional       Collecting                         Rights of       
  rights             resource          permits                            access            
                     security                                             to information   

  Director           Assurance         Clearing          Labelling        Comanagement    
  liability          bonds             permits                                           

  Audit                                Development       Industry                         
                                       zones             accreditation                     

  State of                             Precautionary     Prizes                           
  Environment                          standards                                          

                                       Precautionary     Self                             
                                       regulations       regulation                         

Institutional      Information         Leverage            Awards                             
Mechanisms                             Mechanisms                                           

  International      Education         Cross              Awards and                       
  agreements                           compliance         Prizes                          

                     Extension         Conditional                                        

  State              Research                                                             


Source: Adapted from Panayotou, T. (1994a) Economic instruments for environmental management and sustainable development. International Environment Program, Harvard Institute for International Development, Harvard University, Massachusetts, USA. Rough Draft.

1.6.2 The role of the community

The community, particularly those people who use biodiversity resources, does not wish to be seen as part of the problem of biodiversity loss, but as part of the solution. We are convinced that the community must be treated as a resource whose involvement and support is invaluable to effective biodiversity conservation. We define a community broadly to include all the people who live in an area – especially those people affected by or involved in utilising aspects of biodiversity.

Without effective support and recognition of the crucial role of landholders and other resource users as custodians of biodiversity, any set of policy instruments is fated to be less than fully effective. As mentioned above, the new approach to biodiversity protection emphasises a mix of on- and off-reserve approaches, which necessitate the cooperation of private land owners and others who have vested interests in the utilisation of biodiversity resources for commercial purposes. Often members of the community will have the knowledge concerning local resources which central agencies lack. Willingness to recognise the potential contributions the community can make will inevitably increase the efficiency of any policy instruments chosen. Conversely, failure to acknowledge community views will seriously damage the credibility of any ensuing decisions.

In subsequent chapters, we will therefore develop an approach to policy instruments for biodiversity which takes full account of, and responds to, community views. Our approach will recognise the crucial role of community participation, of education and of process, by placing positive instruments, capable of encouraging and facilitating constructive change, ahead of negative instruments, which work by command and coercion. Above all, this approach recognises that the best way to change human behaviour is to work with people rather than against them, and that cooperative approaches which make participation a rewarding experience work far better than coercive ones where people are forced to do what the State requires.

This report will emphasise recommendations which facilitate a partnership approach towards biodiversity protection. In the past, mechanisms and instruments have been seen to be primarily the responsibility of the government to introduce and implement, and the community, resource users and landowners to either accept and use, or reject and ignore. Our research and consultation moves us towards the establishment of equal partnership arrangements between governments, communities and industry for the conservation and use of biodiversity. These partnership arrangements will vary substantially between regions of Australia and will, where possible, build upon existing arrangements rather than invent new ones. The key aspect will be that initiation and support will come from both government and communities, although the Commonwealth Government will establish targets and goals within which the partnerships will operate. At the same time, we recognise that the approaches taken must be administratively cost-effective and efficient in the conservation of biodiversity.

1.6.3 Making it pay

Obviously the introduction of any mechanism or instrument designed to protect biodiversity may involve some expense. The issue of who will pay these expenses is one which involves consideration of both equity and efficiency questions. This report will look at these issues, and discuss a number of options for financing biodiversity conservation, both directly and indirectly.

Some of these measures will already be familiar from their use for other policy objectives; these include tax incentives, conditional grants, and charges and levies on the use of biodiverse resources. Other measures which will be examined are not used, or are not common in Australia, but are those which we feel should be considered for their potential to encourage biodiversity conservation. These include the hypothecation of revenue, and the use of transferable property rights.

However, as is apparent from the preceding discussion, we believe there is much more to the design of a policy package than simply getting the price right. Essentially, and without denying the need for a 'safety net' of regulatory instruments, we argue that, with attention to the cost-effectiveness of each incentive mechanism, the focus should be on creating a mix of policy instruments capable of harnessing community participation in biodiversity conservation. This is much more likely when the package of arrangements offered motivates people to conserve biodiversity, and is focussed and delivered at a local level. When this occurs people feel and become part of the solution, rather than part of the problem.


1. Blay and Piotrowicz (1993) 'Biodiversity and conservation in the 21st century: A critique of the Earth Summit 1992.' Environmental and Planning Law Journal 10(6):450 at 452.

2. Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council Task Force on Biological Diversity (1993) National strategy for the conservation of Australia's biological diversity. Department of the Environment, Sport and Territories, Canberra, p2.

3. Commonwealth Department of Environment, Sport and Territories, Biodiversity Unit (1994) Australia's Biodiversity: An overview of selected significant components. Canberra

4. Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council Task Force on Biological Diversity (1993) National strategy for the conservation of Australia's biological diversity. Department of the Environment, Sport and Territories, Canberra, p2.

5. Briggs, J.D. and Leigh, J.H. (1995) Rare or threatened plants – 1995 revised edition. CSIRO, Canberra. (In press).

6. Thackway, R. and Cresswell, I.D. (eds) (1995) An interim biogeographic regionalisation for Australia: A framework for setting priorities in the National Reserves System Co-Operative Program. Australian Nature Conservation Agency; Canberra.

7. House of Representatives Standing Committee on Environment, Recreation and the Arts (1993) Biodiversity: The role of protected areas. Australian Government Publishing Service; Canberra, January.

8. National Greenhouse Gas Inventory Committee (1994) National Greenhouse Gas Inventory, 1988 and 1990. Department of the Environment, Sport and Territories, Canberra.

9. Dixon, N. (1994) 'Protection of endangered species – how will Australia cope?' Environmental and Planning Law Journal 11(1):6

10. Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council Task Force on Biological Diversity (1993) National strategy for the conservation of Australia's biological diversity. Department of the Environment, Sport and Territories, Canberra, p2.

11. World Commission on Environment and Development (1987) Our common future. World Commission on Environment and Development, p9.

12. Cameron, J. and Elix, J. (1991) Recovering ground: A case study approach to ecologically sustainable rural land management. Australian Conservation Foundation; Melbourne, p16.

13. Council of Australian Governments (1992) National strategy for ecologically sustainable development. Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra.

14. World Conservation Union; United Nations Environment Program and the World Wide Fund for Nature (1991) Caring for the Earth: A strategy for sustainable living, p10.

15. Young, M.D. (1992) Sustainable investment and resource use: Equity, environmental integrity and economic efficiency. Man and the biosphere series. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation and the Parthenon Publishing Group, paris; France, p5.

16. Some examples of this include: the sustainable use of kangaroo harvesting (currently kangaroo harvesting is carried out in most states on the basis of 'damage mitigation' rather than for commercial purposes, but there is increasing discussion about the development of markets for kangaroo meat for human consumption – see Cameron, J. and Elix, J. (1991) Recovering ground: A case study approach to ecologically sustainable rural land management; at p119); the commercialisation of the wildflower industry (an export market estimated to be worth around $22 million in 1993 alone – see Karingal Consultants (1994) 'Australian wildflower industry: A review.' A report for the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation. Research Paper No. 94/9. Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation; Canberra, p. ix); and the export of sphagnum moss from Tasmanian forests (see Appendix I). Provided that appropriate monitoring and arrangements for protecting biodiversity are in place, enterprises such as these have the potential to be profitable and ecologically sustainable.

17. Claiborne, L. (1993) "The view from Airlie: Community based conservation in crisis." Art Ortenberg Foundation; New York, p2.

18. See generally OECD (1990) 'Guidelines for the use of economic instruments in environmental policy.' Env/EC 40(23) October, Paris.

19. It may be that since a biodiversity conservation strategy has multiple objectives, the mixture of instruments needed will include at least one for each objective.