Threatened species strategy – Year one report

Department of the Environment and Energy,
Australian Government, 2016

Commissioner’s message

On 16 July 2015, Australia’s first Threatened Species Strategy was launched in Melbourne. This marked the beginning of a challenging and valuable journey to change the fate of Australia’s threatened species.

This report to Minister for the Environment and Energy, the Hon Josh Frydenberg MP, captures the progress made during year one of implementing this ambitious plan. The journey has been rewarding, difficult and full of learning, but overwhelmingly positive.

The Strategy reinvigorates Australia’s approach to protecting threatened species. It explains why we should care and outlines principles for prioritising Australian Government resources and effort. It establishes a five year Action Plan with clear, measurable targets for feral cats, mammals, birds, plants and recovery practices.

Australian Government programs and investments, like the National Landcare Programme and regional NRM organisations, have sharpened their focus on threatened species and are core to the outcomes we are delivering. From community feedback, I have seen a genuine shift in the interest and understanding of threatened species. Australia is now well and truly behind the fight against extinction.

I am pleased to say that we have met the majority of the Strategy’s targets for year one and are delivering some great outcomes for so many of our threatened species.

We have a big two years ahead of us as we work towards delivering the year three targets in the Strategy. More action and effort is needed to make this happen, and it will not be easy. But it is a challenge I am up for and I know Australia is too.

I will be looking to grow the maturity of the Strategy by intensifying action where it is most needed, building the partnerships required to fight extinction and to applying knowledge gained in year one to enhance the relevance and effectiveness of the Strategy. I am looking forward to supporting Minister Frydenberg in launching a Threatened Species Prospectus, with the aim of growing and leveraging investment from the private sector in saving species.

I encourage anyone who is interested in being involved in the conversation about threatened species, or who would like to learn more about how Australia is fighting extinction, to follow me on Facebook or Twitter. Details of the stories and projects mentioned within this report are on those sites or on the Department’s website.

Everything we have achieved this year has been the result of partnership and collaboration. I would like to thank and acknowledge all the community organisations, Indigenous groups, zoos, governments, NGOs, scientists and passionate people that have contributed to the national effort to fight extinction. I am so proud and encouraged by the huge step forward we have made in just one year and I am looking forward to continuing this important journey with Australia, with the support and direction of Minister Frydenberg.

Gregory Andrews
Threatened Species Commissioner

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