2017 is a year for innovation. Only a few months in, we have already seen new and innovative solutions investigated for feral cat control using ‘trojan baits’, exciting citizen-science opportunities with the release of the night parrot call, and successes in engaging the private sector in conservation. As I mentioned in the summer issue of Science for Saving Species, we were able to meet the majority of the first year targets of the Threatened Species Strategy. And now we are focused on new and innovative partnerships to help achieve the ambitious Year 3 and Year 5 targets.
I was delighted to launch the Threatened Species Prospectus, alongside Minister Josh Frydenberg at Taronga Zoo, and promote the opportunity for corporate Australia to support conservation. Businesses are increasingly becoming more responsive to environmental efforts and collaborations with non-government groups, and we need to be ready to explain with conviction why and how they can invest. And on the day of the launch of the Prospectus, we celebrated the funding of one of its projects when San Diego Zoo committed $500,000 to platypus and freshwater fish conservation.
The Conservation Opportunities Summit held at RMIT in February was another important step. The outcomes of the Summit are part of the TSR Hub’s Project 6.3 (Methods for better communication and community buy-in to threatened species conservation), and it sought to explore ways to better engage corporate Australia in species-saving science. Over 30 proposals were considered and action plans developed for five of the most promising projects. This is important work for the Hub and for the community, creating a sound foundation to build collaboration with businesses.
Gregory Andrews with Josh Frydenberg, Minister for the Environment and Energy, at the launch of the new Threatened Species Prospectus at Taronga Zoo in Sydney.