The Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand is the premier membership organisation for environmental practitioners across Australia and New Zealand. Following the re-election of the Australian Federal Coalition government, EIANZ urges the government to commit to strong leadership on climate issues, address critical environmental challenges and consider utilising the expertise of the EIANZ member-base to inform environmental policies.
Environmental health is inseparable from the health of the nation and Australia’s future depends on effective and consistent leadership on environmental laws, policies, and management practices. This leadership needs to:
- Be evidence-based, using the best and most recent science.
- Incorporate expert advice and stakeholder views.
- Consistently follow the well-established principles of ecologically sustainable development.
- Be future focused having regard to population and climate change.
- Have both domestic and global dimensions.
Central to strong leadership will be a political commitment to address the most pressing climate concerns, namely:
- More frequent extreme weather events | Australia must create stable, credible laws, policies and institutions that deliver effective action to substantially reduce domestic greenhouse gas emissions over the medium term.
- Threatened species and communities | Australia’s unique species are under pressure from threatening processes such as pest plants and feral animals, habitat destruction and pollution. Well-coordinated, long-term, national effort is required to reverse the loss of biodiversity, particularly threatened species and ecosystems.
- Water management | The episodic and unpredictable nature of water flows in the Australian environment are particularly challenging. Increasing demand for water is placing pressure on ground waters, rivers and wetlands. Implementation of a long-term national strategy is required to ensure that Australia’s water resources are sustainably managed.
- Environmental law and policy | Australia’s environmental regulatory regime needs an overhaul because the existing system is not aligned and does not adequately protect the environment. The next generation of national environmental laws, policies and management practices require the same effort and community engagement that shaped the development of the National Strategy for Ecologically Sustainable Development.
The substantive task of environmental regulation and protection can be supported, improved and streamlined through the use of certified environmental practitioners. The EIANZ can offer the Morrison government and policy makers access to environmental practitioners, whose insight can inform strategies to ensure our climate can support future generations and protect Australia’s iconic flora and fauna.
Our climate is our future and channeling political will into addressing the climate emergency is more crucial than ever.