Environmental biosecurity – the protection of our natural environment from harmful exotic weeds, pests and diseases – requires much more attention than it currently receives.
At a time when all research tells us Australia is fast losing native species, we really must do better.
That is why we have launched ‘Keeping Nature Safe’, a proposal for the establishment of Environment Health Australia, a national body dedicated to environmental biosecurity.
Quarantine and biosecurity efforts to protect primary industries like farming and grazing are world class but the environment is currently missing out.
Government knows this. It is time to give the environment the same level of protection we give to agriculture.
Stinting on environmental biosecurity investment now is a false economy. It leaves an ever-growing debt for future generations to pay. Once we allow them to enter and establish, new weeds, pests and diseases cost buckets of money to control
Farmers, land managers and community groups working to restore our lands and ecosystems understand this. They have huge resources of knowledge, expertise and commitment that the government would do well to harness in the fight against invasive species.
The Australian Government’s own review of quarantine and biosecurity emphasised the need to involve the community at all levels – from policy and decision-making down.
It is time we moved to enshrine this wisdom in a new body, Environment Health Australia, to bring together all the best expertise on environmental biosecurity.
You too can support Environment Health Australia.
Download the report.
Dr Paul Sinclair, Healthy Ecosystems Program Manager, Australian Conservation Foundation
Samantha Vine, Head of Conservation, BirdLife Australia
Tim Kelly, Chief Executive, Conservation Council of South Australia
Professor Daniel Simberloff, Director for Biological Invasions, University of Tennessee and member of National Academy of Sciences