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  • Writer's pictureCamille Goldstone-Henry

How to halt the loss of biodiversity

Updated: Feb 22, 2022

Fifty percent. That's the number of threatened terrestrial species we will lose in New South Wales in the next 100 years according to modelling in the NSW State of the Environment 2021 report. That's in NSW alone. It doesn't take into account the knock on extinctions that are inevitable with this level of biodiversity loss.

The report, tabled in Parliament last Wednesday, found that climate change, land clearing and invasive species were the cause of an additional 18 species added to the threatened species register in the past 3 years. It also stated that "Modelling predicts that only 496 of the 991 terrestrial species listed as threatened are predicted to survive in 100 years’ time". Yes, that means we could lose 495 or 50% of listed threatened terrestrial species.

The commitment from NSW Environment Minister Mr James Griffin to conservation, expanding the national parks network and action on invasive species is a welcome sign from the conservation community here in NSW, however, it doesn't address indirect causes like lack of national coordination.

Without overarching national coordination of conservation activity, or at the very least increased coordination amongst government agencies, conservation organisations and community groups, conservation remains a black box. It's hard keeping track of who is doing what in Australian wildlife conservation; what species are being protected, who is leading the projects and where to find resources and expertise to support conservation projects.

In 2019, the Bramble Cay, an Australian rodent, was the first mammal on the planet to be declared extinct from climate change. It had a recovery plan that was never implemented thanks to successive ministers and changing of hands, but if it was implemented the species would still persist today. This is why transparency, accountability and collaboration are key to tackling the extinction crisis in Australia.

To make matters worse, in 2018–19 projected funded by the state covered roughly 40% of all listed threatened species and ecological communities. What about the remaining 60%, who is covering those?

At Xylo Systems, we are on a mission to open up the black box of wildlife conservation with resources to help simplify complexity and collaborate on conservation projects. On Friday, Xylo Systems launched it's crowd sourced list of active conservation practitioners, academics, students, landholders and community groups in the Australian wildlife conservation ecosystem. This document makes navigating the conservation space easier to plan, fund and execute projects.

By democratising conservation and putting the power into the peoples hands, we can collectively halt the loss of our biodiversity through direct, coordinated and effective action.

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