Aquatic systems, by their nature, distribute pollutants widely and effectively. Port Phillip Bay is currently impacted by a range of introduced pollutants and its long-term viability needs to be reassessed. New standards and technologies should be reconsidered, and system-wide thinking applied to the management of our limited water resources; particularly in a time of climate change and population growth. Business as usual will *not* be the solution.
Australia still uses dozens of chemicals that are banned in other countries, including the UK and USA. These chemicals are banned because they’re toxic to humans, animals or the myriad other plants and animals that inhabit our planet with us. Consider the thousands of litres of inorganic chemicals in white plastic bottles that we see lining the ‘cleaning’ aisle of the supermarket. Treated or untreated, your sewerage and waste ends up in the Bay.
Knowledge holders and leaders from across Victoria, including Traditional Owners, gathered at the Royal Society of Victoria to discuss the challenges and opportunities for Victoria in biodiversity conservation and recovery, considering the urgent need to establish an independent Taskforce. RSV President Rob Gell framed the biodiversity crisis as “everyone’s problem.”
“We are known internationally for our science. We must be known for using our science to protect our biodiversity.” Recognising the scarcity of public funding to drive recovery, the RSV is establishing a Natural Capital Financing Working Group to focus on the urgent need to stimulate private sector investments that protect, preserve and regenerate local biodiversity in the face of threats from climate change and habitat loss.
Extreme events are becoming more devastating and more frequent. Communities, economies and ecosystems have increasingly less time to bounce back between them. How do we build resilience for the future? This summer’s devastating bushfires and the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic have given Australians an alarming insight to the sustained uncertainty we will be facing under a rapidly changing climate. Mike Flattley (Royal Society of Victoria) and Anthony Boxshall (Science Into Action) invited a number of speakers to discuss how we can build resilience into our planning strategies for water, agriculture and biodiversity. Featuring David McKenzie and Claire Flanagan-Smith on the Goulburn Murray Resilience Strategy, Lauren Rickards on Climate Change and Systems Transformation, Brendan Wintle on Decision Making for Biodiversity, Briony Rogers on Preparing the Water Sector for Transition, Richard Eckard on the Transition of the Agricultural Sector, and Sarah Bekessy on Building Community Ownership and Agency in the process.