Climate change and the legal framework for biodiversity protection in Australia: a legal and scientific analysis

Climate change and the legal framework for biodiversity protection in Australia: a legal and scientific analysis

Climate change has profound implications for biodiversity conservation in Australia. It will require us to re-evaluate our current approach to conservation, which will involve consideration of ethical questions such as what to protect and why. It will require dynamic and responsive tools, and overarching approaches.

This paper analyses the current legal regime at a Federal level in Australia and its adequacy to protect biodiversity under climate change. The paper was prepared with the assistance of a number of legal and scientific experts who provided written feedback on a draft discussion paper, and attended a one-day roundtable.

The first part of the paper outlines the predicted impacts of climate change on biodiversity and identifies general scientific principles for the protection of biodiversity under climate change.

The second part of the paper describes and analyses a range of legislative tools in terms of their efficacy in protecting biodiversity currently, as well as how adaptive and applicable they will continue to be in the future, in light of climate change.

The paper provides a set of recommendations for legislative and policy reform necessary for the conservation of biodiversity under climate change.

2009 - Download PDF