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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.
The Conservation International (CI) - BHP Billiton Alliance supports the delivery of enduring benefits to biodiversity, ecosystems and other environmental resources around the world. In 2013 BHP Billiton – one of the world’s leading diversified resources companies – voluntarily committed to financing the conservation and continuing management of areas of high biodiversity and ecosystem value that are of national and international conservation significance.
Voluntary standards, combined with independent certification, are widely used to ‘internalize’ social and environmental impacts in markets, offering recognition for producers and information for consumers. Multi-stakeholder roundtables exist for forest and agricultural commodities and fisheries, among others, with certified production gaining significant market share in some cases.
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.