Despite the changes that occurred after European settlement, Melbourne’s urban waterways still contain remnant ecosystems, which faintly echo the diversity they once displayed. In addition to their contribution to the city’s environmental values, urban waterways also provide important social, economic, and aesthetic benefits.
The recognition, management, and mitigation of the increasing risk posed by biodiversity loss is not yet a regular part of risk management, as climate change has become. There is still work to do to raise awareness of the economic impact of biodiversity loss, and then to manage and reverse this impact. “Towards Conservation and Recovery of Victoria’s Biodiversity” provides recommendations and practical actions to assist us all.
How big is the problem of invasive species? In the words of Deakin University’s Professor Euan Ritchie, ‘the short answer is: it’s massive’. Invasive genes and species are one of the biggest environmental problems facing Australia and the number one cause of native species extinctions. They also cause immense economic and cultural damage; since the 1960s, Australia has variously spent and incurred losses amounting to $390 billion due to invasive species.
“The main thing for everyone to be aware of is that the extinction crisis is everyone’s problem,” says RSV President Rob Gell AM. “It’s no good sitting back waiting for somebody else to deal with it. Governments, industries, communities, academics, First Nations – we all have a responsibility, and a role to play. The challenge comes from knowing exactly which role is yours… and how to coordinate the collective effort.”
This report and position paper from the Royal Society of Victoria (RSV) addresses the conservation and recovery of Australia’s unique biodiversity, particularly in the State of Victoria. It summarises the current state of reviews, responses and policies in Victoria in the broader Australian and global context, with recommendations for action.