26 September 2023

New action plan to save oldest trees

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The Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate has launched a new draft action plan to protect Canberra’s mature native trees.

Welcoming the draft Action Plan to Prevent the Loss of Mature Native Trees, Minister for the Environment, Rebecca Vassarotti said Canberrans could weigh in on the Plan until 27 May to help protect this crucial component of the ACT’s environmental diversity.

“Canberrans take great pride that they live in the Bush Capital, as we share our great city with an array of incredible wildlife and native trees,” Ms Vassarotti said.

“Branches, hollows and canopy in our native mature trees, which can live to be 500 years old, provide food, shelter and other benefits for many birds and animals, including threatened species like the Superb Parrot, Little Eagle and Brown Treecreeper,” she said.

“Sadly, there has been significant and continuing decline in the number of mature native trees over the last two centuries, in particular in our urban areas, due to land clearing, loss of connectivity and climate change.”

Ms Vassarotti said the Directorate’s draft Action Plan outlined ways to prevent further loss across the Territory, including educating private developers and leasehold landowners of the importance of maintaining mature native trees.

“Protecting mature native trees, particularly when developing new suburbs and estates, is a first step in the Action Plan,” she said.

“Considering the likelihood of increased storm events under climate change, we all need to do our part to re-establish the environment’s natural diversity and improve ecosystem resilience.”

Ms Vassarotti thanked the ACT Scientific Committee, which she said played a key role in ensuring the draft Action Plan contained the most rigorous and up-to-date ecological research and advice.

The Directorate’s 50-page draft Plan can be accessed at this PS News link.

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