National Strategy for the
Australia's Biological Diversity
The Strategy recognises that:
- The conservation of biological diversity provides significant cultural, economic,
educational, environmental, scientific and social benefits for all Australians.
- There is a need for more knowledge and better understanding of Australia's biological
- There is a pressing need to strengthen current activities and improve policies,
practices and attitudes to achieve conservation and sustainable use of biological
- We share the earth with many other life forms that have intrinsic value and warrant our
respect, whether or not they are of benefit to us.
- It acknowledges the core objectives of the National Strategy for Ecologically
- to enhance individual and community wellbeing and welfare by following a path of
economic development that safeguards the welfare of future generations;
- to provide for equity within and between generations;
- to protect biological diversity and maintain essential ecological processes and
- And it accepts the guiding principles of the National Strategy for Ecologically
- Decision making processes should effectively integrate both long- and short-term
economic, environmental, social and equity considerations.
- Where there are threats of serious or irreversible environmental damage, lack of full
scientific certainty should not be used as a reason for postponing measures to prevent
- The global dimension of environmental impacts of actions and policies should be
recognised and considered.
- The need to develop a strong, growing and diversified economy which can enhance the
capacity for environmental protection should be recognised.
- The need to maintain and enhance international competitiveness in an environmentally
sound manner should be recognised.
- Cost effective and flexible policy instruments should be adopted, such as improved
valuation, pricing and incentive mechanisms.
- Decisions and actions should provide for broad community involvement on issues which
The goal is to protect biological diversity and maintain ecological processes and
The following principles have been adopted as a basis for the Strategy's objectives and
actions and should be used as a guide for implementation:
- Biological diversity is best conserved in-situ.
- Although all levels of government have clear responsibility, the cooperation of
conservation groups, resource users, indigenous peoples, and the community in general is
critical to the conservation of biological diversity.
- It is vital to anticipate, prevent and attack at source the causes of significant
reduction or loss of biological diversity.
- Processes for and decisions about the allocation and use of Australia's resources should
be efficient, equitable and transparent.
- Lack of full knowledge should not be an excuse for postponing action to conserve
- The conservation of Australia's biological diversity is affected by international
activities and requires actions extending beyond Australia's national jurisdiction.
- Australians operating beyond our national jurisdiction should respect the principles of
conservation and ecologically sustainable use of biological diversity and act in
accordance with any relevant national or international laws.
- Central to the conservation of Australia's biological diversity is the establishment of
a comprehensive, representative and adequate system of ecologically viable protected areas
integrated with the sympathetic management of all other areas, including agricultural and
other resource production systems.
- The close, traditional association of Australia's indigenous peoples with components of
biological diversity should be recognised, as should the desirability of sharing equitably
benefits arising from the innovative use of traditional knowledge of biological diversity.