Australia intends to aim for zero extinction for its rare and special plants and animals, promising to preserve at least 30 percent of its land amid acute pressure on the country’s environment.
Minister for the Environment and Water Tanya Plibersek, on Tuesday, said the 224.5 million Australian dollars ($145.9m) plan offers a way for threatened species conservation and recovery over the next decade.
It lays most emphasis on 110 species and 20 places that need urgent action and includes a commitment to inhibit any new extinctions of plants and animals.
Plibersek said the government was “determined to give wildlife a better chance” amid rising threats from climate change, natural disasters, feral predators, and human activity.
She blamed the previous government, which lost power in May’s elections, for taking no action on the environment.
“Our current approach has not been working,” she said in a statement, referring to Australia as the mammal extinction capital of the world. “If we keep doing what we’ve been doing, we’ll keep getting the same results. The need for action has never been greater. I will not shy away from difficult problems or accept environmental decline and extinction as inevitable.”
A government report that was released in July found that Australia’s environmental condition was “poor and deteriorating” and that it had lost more mammal species than any other continent in the world.