Recently, a lengthy process of negotiation between timber and conservation interests led to a significant change in a decades long conflict over the use of public forests in Tasmania. An agreement was reached to protect significant additional areas of forest through industry consolidation, with support from all parties. After years of costly and divisive conflict through social, political and market lobbying and campaigning, an alternative approach of direct negotiation between the main stakeholders was undertaken.
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This case study discusses the great potential connectivity outcomes when development offsets are required in a landscape which has a foundation of groups committed towards achieving a conservation “corridor”. In this example, the development was the loss of vegetation required for the duplication of the Hume Highway (by Roads and Maritime NSW) and the “corridor” is the priority landscape of the Slopes to Summit partnership (within the Great Eastern Ranges Initiative area) in southern NSW.
Strategic assessments provide the opportunity to identify and deliver regional conservation priorities and desired outcomes at a landscape scale with an explicit focus on ecologically sustainable development principles. Strategic environmental assessment (SEA) is the practice of environmental impact assessment at the planning, policy or regulation development stage. Strategic assessments provide an alternative approach to project by project environmental assessment to incorporate landscape scale assessment and multi-jurisdictional partnerships.