Nature Conservation Act 2014
On 27 November 2014 the Nature Conservation Act 2014 (the Act) was passed by the ACT Legislative Assembly. The Act commenced on 11 June 2015.
The Act is the chief legislation for the protection of native plants and animals in the ACT and for the management of the conservation reserve network.
The Act protects native plants and animals, and provides management authority for conservation lands. It provides the legal underpinning of nature conservation policy, management and action across the Territory.
Biodiversity Research and Monitoring Program
The Biodiversity Research and Monitoring Program (BRAMP) primarily supports the role of the ACT Conservator of Flora and Fauna (Conservator) by setting out biodiversity research and monitoring priority activities for a specified two year period. The BRAMP is a notifiable instrument under the Act and relates only to those aspects of the Conservator's role that are specific to monitoring and research.
Through the BRAMP, the Conservator aims to establish a strategic long-term monitoring program which:
- enables data to be collected and analysed to identify trends and changes in biodiversity and ecosystem condition in the ACT, including in the face of climate change
- provides an evidence base for improving environmental conservation policy, management and resource allocation decision-making and reporting on the condition of the environment in the ACT
Nature Conservation Amendment Act 2016
On 07 June 2016 the Nature Conservation Amendment Act 2016 was passed by the Legislative Assembly.
The amendments enable greater consistency across states, territories and the Commonwealth in listing of threatened species and ecosystems, whereby:
- Nationally threatened species will be listed as either extinct, extinct in the wild, critically endangered, endangered, or vulnerable. Species in the ACT that are threatened on a national scale include:
- Grassland Earless Dragon
- Striped Legless Lizard
- Pink-tailed Worm Lizard
- Regionally threatened species, that may not be threatened nationally but have undergone a significant decline within the ACT region, may be listed as regionally threatened. A Conservation Dependent category provides for species that are reintroduced into the ACT.
A Common Assessment Methodology (criteria, categories, thresholds and definitions from the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List) will be applied. This will promote consistency, stronger collaboration and efficiencies across jurisdictions in assessing species for listing.
The amendments continue the ACT Government's ongoing reform to harmonise and simplify environmental regulation while maintaining environmental protection.
The Questions and Answers factsheet discusses the following key elements of the Act:
- Conservator's roles and functions
- Research and Monitoring
- Conservation officers
- The Scientific Committee
- ACT Nature Conservation Strategy
- Listing threatened species, ecological communities and threatening processes
- Listing processes
- Action Plans
- Protected Native Species
- Controlled Native Species Management Plans
- Offences and penalties
- Reserve Management Plans
- Activities Declarations
- Emergencies Act
The Act has benefitted from input from a wide range of community organisations, stakeholders and interest groups.