The ABC news site is reporting that a NSW government report is suggesting a massive east coast corridor of conservation land to be established from just north of Melbourne to the Atherton Tablelands in northern Qld.
I must say that such a call is a step in the right direction; especially such a long eastern corridor that stretches across the latitudes – which will allow for greater movement of species in response to climate zone shifts (see chapter 5, Where will the wild things move?). I would also take it a step further and increase a western band that covers great amounts of the Murray Darling system (MDB). The benefits to ecological resilience/richness plus water management/quality would have dramatic effects on natural systems across eastern and central Australia – including coastal environments. In turn, many of the industries that rely on these areas (most notably various agri- and aqua- culture) will benefit immensely.
Farm diversification as I’ve mentioned previously, alongside these corridors can exploit many of the services provided by great local biodiversity, such as pest management, soil conditioning, storm protection, water retention and increased water quality, to name a few. Increasing Transit-Orientated-Developments to further reclaim land from sprawl as I discussed last week, would also increase the potential for open space quality and eventually land productivity closer to major centres.
It all starts acknowledging the economic wealth associated with ecological health (a point I’m always harping on about ;-)), which it seems is being at least discussed on the east coast.
In my previous post, I highlight what is an all to common mind frame, beautifully illustrated in the ignorance of a single reporter (reading his comments however, you see just how common this way of thinking it). That is to say, that there are plenty of people who have yet to understand the importance of healthy ecosystems for healthy economies. The problem is, almost all scientific literature and case study reports are directed at the people how already understand the importance and when things work, media largely ignore then. Hence, you end up with a population that have no idea of key stone species and the benefits of diversity (regardless if it’s biological, agricultural, social services – ie. mixed use, etc) – they just want more (anything). If it ain’t pretty, kill it and build a house, if it is, move it to a zoo and build a house. It’s obviously the trap of rapid growth over the past century and something that truly needs to be addressed before reports like the NSW government report gains overwhelming acceptance and we can then demonstrate the benefits of ecological management. I’ve not even bothered to discuss interstate governance of environments – just look at the shambles that is the MDB.
It is good to hear such thoughts being discussed in state government, but I think as leaders and the rest of us who consider ourselves constructive communicators, we have a long way before mis-informers like Andrew Bolt are rightfully laughed out of the spot light.