20 May 2023
The second report from the Barrington – Hawkesbury Climate Corridors Alliance was released on March 21st. It shows that 50% of our region’s diverse flora species face regional extinction by 2070, with the majority (86%) facing significant range reductions.
The upshot is that suitable habitat for threatened fauna will be severely degraded by the effects of climate change, but that the effects on threatened flora are set to be much worse.
Of the 74 flora species found in the Barrington to Hawkesbury region for which models were available:
- 64 (86%) suffer significant range contractions by 2070, including the
- 38 (51%) having no suitable habitat remaining
- 27 species (11 with recorded sightings since 2000) experience significant range contractions
- 10 species experience range expansions under a worst case climate scenario
You can read the introduction to the alliance here.
Here’s a reminder of our recommendations:
- An immediate moratorium on further land clearing within identified Climate Change Corridors.
- A specific strategy be included in both the Hunter Regional Plan 2041 and the Central Coast Regional Plan 2041 for the protection of Climate Corridors through an integrated suite of mechanisms (including development controls, major infrastructure planning, voluntary land acquisition and private land conservation).
- The regional strategy described above be supported by detailed zoning and development guidelines under local environmental plans and development control plans administered by local councils, and also by investment programs implemented by Local Land Services.
- Environmental Planning Instruments (EPI), including State Environmental Planning Policies (SEPP) and Local Environment Plans (LEP) be amended to conserve Climate Corridors from further development.
- The Biodiversity Offset Scheme be radically amended to provide adequate stewardship payments to encourage landholders to protect, manage, and restore native vegetation within Climate Corridors under Voluntary Conservation Agreements or other secure conservation measures.
- Targeted voluntary private land acquisition of large core areas of high quality habitat and essential corridors for restoration, particularly the large areas of moist forests in southern Mid-coast, and moist and dry landscapes across the Hunter River Valley through Cessnock, Singleton, and Dungog LGAs.
- State Forests be transferred to National Park reserves as Regional Parks or other appropriate reserve category and managed by Local Communities for conservation and recreation.
- The alliance are currently awaiting responses from the new Minister Penny Sharpe, regarding the implementation of the recommendations within the next 12-18 months, and will keep you posted on responses we receive.
- Please get in touch to schedule a meeting or a phone call to discuss how we can lend specific support to you or your group to get behind this call for the conservation of regional climate corridors and refugia, to ensure the persistence of threatened species in our uniquely biodiverse region.