Hundreds of thousands of seabirds are killed accidentally every year in commercial marine fisheries. This includes globally threatened species, such as an estimated 100,000 albatrosses. This bycatch of non-target species is a common side-effect of the fishing industry. The Albatross Task Force (ATF) is the world’s first international team of seabird bycatch mitigation instructors. Since 2006, it has successfully reduced the incidental bycatch of albatrosses, petrels and other seabirds in targeted fisheries, by introducing simple and practical fishing techniques and mitigation measures.
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In Europe, as in the rest of the world, human activities are causing rapid biodiversity loss. Over the last two decades, the EU has been trying to tackle this in various ways, including through the Natura 2000 Network of protected areas. This includes over 27 000 protected areas, covering over million km2, making it the largest coordinated network of protected areas in the world. The Natura 2000 Network creates a framework for mainstreaming conservation into a range of sectors. The European Commission led the development of the Natura 2000 Network.
European countries are planning massive investments in renewable energy, which will mean that many more transmission lines will be needed to transport the energy produced. This is essential for reducing carbon emissions, but without careful planning, transmission lines can create a range of risks for biodiversity. The Renewables Grid Initiative (RGI) was launched in 2009 as a neutral platform, enabling Transmission System Operators (TSOs) and NGOs from across Europe to come together as equal partners.
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A conceptual framework based on accounting principles of stocks, flows, and investment can be applied to natural capital, social and cultural capital, human capital and financial and physical capitals. Development and application of this framework can help to reveal the environmental, social and economic impacts and interactions of prevailing land use (or other management) practices, and provide a way of assessing the effectiveness of different programmes for achieving desired management objectives.
We’re on a mission to create 20% more green space in Australia’s urban areas by 2020.
In the last couple of decades, the development of practices and use of tools for managing the interaction of oil and gas developments with the surrounding natural environment have been steadily improving; these are now being incorporated into decision-making processes throughout the oil and gas project lifecycle.
Whilst the Earth’s diversity of species and habitats must be preserved first and foremost for their intrinsic value, the solution (from a socio-economic perspective) lies in recognizing and valuing nature for the ecological services it provides – upon which societies and economies are built. Nature, or “Natural Capital” – biodiversity, ecosystems and ecosystem services – must be preserved and restored as the foundation of human societies and economies.
Australia has a growing national network of protected areas (PAs) known as the National Reserve System (NRS) which extends over two (of many) exceptional World Heritage Areas (WHAs) in Australia’s north east: the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) and the Wet Tropical Rainforests of Queensland (WT). Biodiversity conservation (under legal protections of varying strictness) and multiple uses (set out by zoning and related regulations) apply in both the GBR WHA and the WT WHA.
Accidental capture (“bycatch”) of a wide range of non-target species is a significant issue for the fishing industry, and for marine biodiversity. Bycatch has a severe impact on many charismatic marine species such as albatrosses, cetaceans, sharks and sea turtles, which often cross vast distances and can be highly vulnerable to bycatch. Every year longline and trawl fishing fleets kill an estimated 300,000 seabirds, driving some albatross species towards extinction.