5 Apr 2023
WWF CALLS ON NEW GOVERNMENT TO REGENERATE NSW
The World Wide Fund for Nature-Australia today congratulated the new government with the full New South Wales ministry now sworn in.
“We look forward to working with the new government on exciting opportunities to make NSW a regenerative leader in Australia,” said WWF-Australia CEO Dermot O’Gorman. “Following the unprecedented 2019-20 bushfires, the state’s wildlife still needs help.
“The fate of koalas, greater gliders and many other threatened species remains delicately poised,” Mr O’Gorman said.
A WWF-led paper recently found that more than half (29 million ha) of all native forest and woodland vegetation in NSW has been lost. Of the remaining 25 million ha, 9 million ha is degraded, and yet contemporary logging still affects 244 threatened species.
“To save threatened species, we’re calling for the government to end native forest logging and major clearing of remnant forests, woodlands, and high conservation value regrowth. “NSW can transition to timber plantations and seize the opportunity to become known as a world leader in reforestation, forest conservation and land carbon.
“The election commitments to create a Great Koala National Park on the mid north coast and ‘stop run away land clearing’ are welcome steps forward.
“To significantly build on this announcement, WWF is calling for strengthened koala habitat protection, a well-funded just transition to phase out industrial logging and annual payments for farmers who voluntarily agree to conservation agreements over koala habitat.
“New South Wales has unique bioregions under threat, many with less than 5% of their area protected.
“Boosting protected areas to address this issue would save these distinctive landscapes for future generations.
“It would also help Australia meet the global goal of protecting and managing a representative and connected 30% of land and 30% of inland waters.
“Climate change is a threat to all ecosystems in NSW. The new government must step up on climate action.
“It’s important to ensure the move to power the state’s domestic energy needs and clean export opportunities with renewables, is also a net benefit for the natural environment and communities, with minimal impact on ecosystems,” Mr O’Gorman said.