Environment laws have failed to tackle the extinction emergency. Here’s the proof

Date: 09, Sep, 2019
Author(s):   Ward, M., Reside, A., Possingham, H., Watson, J., Simmonds, J., Rhodes, J., Taylor, M.
Publisher: The Conversation

Threatened species habitat larger than the size of Tasmania has been destroyed since Australia’s environment laws were enacted, and 93% of this habitat loss was not referred to the federal government for scrutiny, our new research shows. The research, published in Conservation Science and Practice, shows that 7.7 million hectares of threatened species habitat has been destroyed in the 20 years since the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act 1999 came into force. Some 85% of land-based threatened species experienced habitat loss. The iconic koala was among the worst affected. More than 90% of habitat loss was not referred or submitted for assessment, despite a requirement to do so under Commonwealth environment laws. Our research indicates the legislation has comprehensively failed to safeguard Australia’s globally significant natural values, and must urgently be reformed and enforced.