Once in a generation chance for strong environment laws
Against the backdrop of unprecedented bushfire devastation and COVID-19, Australia’s federal environment law is currently undergoing its 20 year statutory review. Nearly 30,000 submissions from concerned Australians, including thousands from our own supporters, are now being considered by the independent reviewer. By then end of June, the Federal Environment Minister will be presented with draft recommendations and we could see proposed legislation in parliament soon after.
Right now there is pressure on the Government to weaken the laws claiming it is needed to revive the economy post COVID-19, but if we have learned anything from this bushfire season and COVID-19 it is that we can no longer take nature for granted.
You can ensure your Federal MP knows how important strong environment laws are to you. Ask them to stand up for laws to put the extinction crisis in reverse and allow nature to recover and thrive for a sustainable economy.
Fill out your details below and we'll send the following letter to your Federal MP - don't forget you have to submit the letter on page 2 to ensure your letter is sent!
Dear Federal MP,
I am writing with regard to the ongoing review of our federal environment law, the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).
This season’s bushfires and COVID-19 are a clear indication that a business as usual approach to nature is no longer acceptable. I am writing to urge you to ensure every action is taken to protect our environment and the wildlife that live in it. The 10 year review of the EPBC Act currently underway is a crucial opportunity to implement increased protection for our unique wildlife.
- It is essential that environment laws are strengthened to provide strict protection for critical habitats for threatened species and to deal with climate change and cumulative impacts.
- The impact the recent bushfires have had on our wildlife have demonstrated the need for emergency listings and protection to be put in place at short notice to safeguard species survival.
- Stricter controls are also needed on wildlife trade to prevent future pandemics such as that caused by COVID-19.
- Decisions taken regarding our wildlife need to be based on science not politics. The system urgently needs more independence.
- More than ever, it is essential that the federal Government remains at the helm of tackling this national crisis. I do not want to see any devolution of decision making powers for matters of national environmental significance to states and territories.
- Much more funding is needed to ensure the protection and recovery of our threatened species.
The 2019 report of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) has said the extinction crisis is accelerating globally, resulting in an unprecedented rate of decline of nature. The report noted that unless transformative change is taken, the extinction crisis we are facing will have grave impacts on people throughout the world. The review of the EPBC Act currently underway and due to report at the end of June provides the opportunity for Australia to implement stronger environment laws to more strictly control the threatening processes behind this extinction crisis.
Now is not the time to loosen environmental regulations and pass laws with detrimental impacts on nature, as some have been calling for, but instead to ensure that our environment is put at the centre of our thinking and regulations strengthened and enforced.
Humane Society International
PO BOX 439
Avalon, NSW 2107
Image: HSI/N McLachlan