Eastern Wetlands and Water
Australia’s population is expected to grow by almost two-thirds in the next 40 years. With the majority of people already living along the most densely populated east coast, an increase in population will continue to place pressure on our already stretched natural resources and the health of our ecosystems that sustain us. Water is a scarce, precious resource in Australia and critical not just for our survival, but for the environment in which we live, work and enjoy.
Our unique wetlands and rivers play a significant role in not only regulating the climatic conditions in Australia but also in providing us and our native wildlife like the Platypus and Brolga, with food and shelter. Water gives life to these ecosystems and without water their ability to provide us with the ecosystem services so critical to our quality of life diminishes. The drought conditions across much of eastern Australia have drawn attention to the devastation that can occur to these wetland areas without water and the impact this has on farmers, regional communities and those living in urban areas. We have also however, seen the wonderful display of life that appears when it rains and the floods flow into these areas. Our wetlands need water if they are to deliver the quality and quantity of services we depend on now and into the future.
Managing complexity through INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS
Competing interests across eastern Australia place enormous pressure on our natural resources, which makes natural resource management very complex. Development of land for housing and agriculture means we are losing the lifeblood of the environment that sustains us – our wetlands. Australia-wide, it has been estimated that we have lost around 50% of wetlands since European settlement and in highly populated areas this figure is as great as 90%. We need to work together to design sustainable solutions that consider the connectivity between all aspects of the environment and our use of natural resources and balance our needs with that of the environment.
WetlandCare Australia is dedicated to working in partnership with governments, landholders, indigenous groups, community, researchers and business to find solutions to these land use conflicts, and the resulting depletion of our wetland resources.We will continue to develop, implement and extend best practice management and sustainable use of aquatic ecosystems to landholders, and work with governments, indigenous groups, community and business to conserve, manage and restore these precious ecosystems, return the water that they so desperately need and build resilience in the face of climate change.
WetlandCare Australia’s 2015 conservation goals for Eastern Wetlands and Water
- Implementation of existing policy directions of no net loss of natural wetlands for all major developments in south east QLD and NSW
- Implementation of best practice management and adoption of sustainable use principles for aquatic ecosystems by 2,000 landholders across 75,000ha of private and public wetlands in south east QLD and Northern Rivers, Hunter Central Rivers, Hawkesbury Nepean, Sydney Metropolitan, and Southern Rivers catchments in NSW
- Full inclusion of climate change impacts and environmental water requirements for all wetland rehabilitation projects across south east QLD and NSW
- A consistent framework for collecting and recording baseline aquatic ecosystem data across QLD and NSW
OUTCOME: Functioning wetlands across eastern Australian coastal catchments providing improved water quality, flood mitigation, connectivity and healthy habitat for all species including important fish nurseries for commercial and recreational opportunities.