Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities
The Hon. Greg Combet MP
Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency
Minister for Industry and Innovation
Biodiversity Fund helps Australia's land managers store carbon and protect biodiversity
4 May 2012
317 projects around the country will benefit from the first round of the Gillard Government’s Biodiversity Fund.
The Biodiversity Fund is a key component of the Gillard Government’s strategy to enhance biodiverse carbon stores and secure a clean energy future for Australia.
Announcing the first round of Biodiversity Fund grants, Minister for the Environment, Tony Burke and Minister for Climate Change, Greg Combet said the 317 projects would help to revegetate, rehabilitate and restore around 18 million hectares of the Australian landscape over the next six years.
Collectively these projects have real potential to advance the reversal of biodiversity decline and establish significant areas of carbon storage. They are an important first step in connecting our landscapes and making them more resilient to climate change.
Minister Burke said the Biodiversity Fund would provide much needed long-term commitment to biodiversity conservation and restoration with almost half the projects announced today running over a six year period.
“Providing long-term support to land managers leads to enduring results for our environment and for the community,” Mr Burke said.
“Across Australia, farmers and other land managers already do a great job through Landcare work and the Biodiversity Fund will build on this work.
“A number of projects announced in this first round also align with the intent of the draft National Wildlife Corridors Plan helping to improve connectivity in the landscape through the establishment of landscape scale wildlife corridors.
“This program has received overwhelming support from land managers right across the country with the Biodiversity Fund encouraging an additional $207 million in in-kind or financial contributions.”
In Queensland the Biodiversity Fund will support a project to restore the Condamine catchment landscape in collaboration with the local community.
In South Australia, the Fund will provide $2.6 million to rehabilitate South Australia’s remnant coastal corridor, the Samphire Coast, over the next six years.
The Fund will also support a project to protect Victoria’s iconic River Red Gums and restore native vegetation along the Hopkins River.
Minister Combet said just over a third of the Biodiversity Fund projects indicated that they may go on to participate in the Carbon Farming Initiative.
“These policies will help to protect biodiversity on the land, boost carbon storage opportunities and improve the resilience of unique species against the impacts of climate change,” Mr Combet said.
“The Biodiversity Fund is an important part of the Government’s Clean Energy Future plan and is supported by revenue from the carbon price. It focuses directly on taking action on-ground to maintain the productive capacity of our landscape and natural ecosystem.”
For more information about Biodiversity Fund, and for a list of successful projects, go to http://www.environment.gov.au/cleanenergyfuture/biodiversity-fund/index.html.