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STATEMENT FROM ENVIRONMENT MINISTER MELISSA PRICE

STATEMENT FROM ENVIRONMENT MINISTER MELISSA PRICE

STATEMENT FROM ENVIRONMENT MINISTER MELISSA PRICE:

The Coalition is committed to meeting its international emissions targets and to investing in the protection of our native species and their habitats. We are investing billions of dollars to deliver a cleaner environment, underlining the critical role of a strong economy in supporting positive environmental outcomes.

The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services report highlights the importance of Coalition strategies such as the $2 billion Climate Solutions Fund which invests in sustainable farming practices, the reforestation of degraded land, salinity reduction, and promotes biodiversity by increasing habitat areas, and the $1 billion National Landcare Program, which includes a range of measures to protect Australia’s biodiversity and to support sustainable natural resource management.

Since 2014, more than $425 million has been mobilised for over 1,300 projects to protect and recover populations of threatened species. The Coalition appointed Australia’s first Threatened Species Commissioner and launched the Threatened Species Strategy.

The Coalition has also committed to a $30 million pilot Agriculture Biodiversity Stewardship Fund to provide incentives to farmers to boost biodiversity and reduce emissions. Our $100 million Environment Restoration Fund and $22 million Communities Environment Program will provide further support for landcare and reflect our focus on supporting practical, local responses to environmental issues across Australia. We recently announced that a re-elected Morrison Government will invest $10 million through the Environment Restoration Fund to fill the gaps in our national network of threatened species save-havens, which will protect threatened species at risk of extinction. We also announced several initiatives targeted at recovering threatened species such as Koalas, Black Cockatoos, Eastern Quolls and Kangaroo Island’s Dunnarts.

Since coming to office, the Coalition has increased the number of dedicated Indigenous Protected Areas to 75, putting the management of 67 million hectares of land into the hands of Traditional Owners. In February we announced an additional $12 million to establish new IPAs across the country.

Australia has the second largest marine park network in the world after the Coalition protected an additional 2.3 million square kilometres through a new national network of marine reserves. 68% of the marine parks, by area, are managed as highly protective national park zones and habitat protection zones.

These on ground investments are backed by the $145 million National Environmental Science Program which delivers applied environmental research to meet the needs of the Government and other environmental decision makers.