Innovative partnerships to fight extinction

Innovative partnerships to fight extinction

Tuesday, 06 June 2017

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.

Of course innovation is not only about innovative financing. Project 6.5 (Making the most of citizen science for threatened species) aims to identify citizen-science projects which directly align with the Threatened Species Strategy and support these projects to harness the passion and enthusiasm of their communities. This is a great example of how new technology and new ways of thinking can create new datasets and encourage on-ground recovery actions.

We all have a role to play in the fight against extinction. Innovative partnerships between the private sector and conservation groups, in combination with robust support from the Australian Government, are critical in the fight against extinction. Whether it is innovative financing, new technologies, or new ways of thinking and organising, it will help us to tackle the complex and ambitious targets we have set. Together we can improve the trajectories of Australia’s magnificent threatened plants and animals.

Gregory Andrews
Threatened Species Commissioner

“Innovative partnerships between the private sector and conservation groups, in combination with robust support from the Australian Government, are critical in the fight against extinction.”

Top Image:The Threatened Species Commissioner with a warru (or black-footed rock-wallaby).
You can read about a proposal to save the warru on page 50 of the Threatened Species Prospectus.  
Image: Office of The Threatened Species Commissioner.
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