This submission provides context on Culturally Significant Species (CSS) to the 2020 Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Act) review. The submission presents the case for and discusses the policy, management and practice settings that need to change to enable the Act to address CSS as a Matter of National Environmental Significance (MNES).
The IRG aim is to raise awareness of CSS and their importance to the cultural stability of Indigenous Australian society and ensure CSS are respectfully considered in decision-making processes of the Australian Government. The IRG is further submitting through the TRS Hub a supporting document for the inclusion and protection of CSS that describes Protocols and Pathways.
Furthermore, the IRG believes that the recognition of CSS will contribute to the development of a more holistic perspective on biodiversity and ecosystems in Australia and provides all sectors of society with another avenue through which to emphasize the importance of species and communities to the state of the Australian environment.