- Biodiversity Conservation on Private Land and Australian Cityscapes   click here to open paper content275 kb
by    Smith, Garry & Phillips, Elizabeth & Doret, Geoffrey | gj.smith@unsw.edu.au   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
Australian government urban biodiversity conservation on private land buffers increasingly dense urban landscapes, and contributes to urban integration by supporting improved environment protection, recreation and tourism activities.
Australian urban populations express a strong affinity with the natural environment in their cities. Urban biodiversity conservation is an important component of national identity and commitment to sustainable development. Natural areas in large Australian cities provide important urban integration functions, including recreation areas for senior citizens, regions supporting international tourism, and improved water and air quality. Maintaining special connectivity in ecosystems is a key to biodiversity conservation, having major implications for species habitat range and genetic diversity (1).

Internationally urban local governments are restricted in their regulatory ability with respect to private lands. Public lands within local jurisdictions are easily managed in many countries, frequently as a result of legislation. Since large proportions of natural bushland occur on private land, conservation on these areas requires effective private land conservation measures. There are a number of private conservation incentives being explored by local government in Australia.

The aim of urban biodiversity conservation generates significant challenges with respect to development control in an increasingly competitive global urban context. Important development-related conservation risks from human activities include soil erosion, land degradation, and weed-infestation. Private landowner awareness and support for biodiversity conservation on private property frequently is not a personal priority. How is urban conservation to be balanced with urban growth (2)?

Australian local government activities included creation of networks of wildlife corridors in key urban conservation areas, thereby maintaining landscape connectivity, and development of risk-based dialogues with communities as a basis for local area planning. Effective private land conservation is a priority for regional sustainability.

This paper describes Australian government approaches to developing local plans for urban biodiversity conservation on public and private land, using case studies from Sydney, Australia’s first ‘global city’.

(1)Simberloff, D., Cox, J., and Mehlman, D. W. (1992) ‘Movement corridors: conservation bargains or poor investments?’ Conservation Biology, Vol. 6, No. 4, pp 493-504.

(2)Smith G. and Scott J. (2006) Living Cities: An Urban Myth? Rosenberg Publishing, Dural, Australia.
urban biodiversity, private land, conservation, recreation, tourism
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