The Victorian government is launching a BushBank scheme to help restore and preserve vast amounts of private land.
The initiative has to do with restoring an area that is 5 times bigger than Melbourne. This will increase private land conservation, and help safeguard its natural state for a long time.
Lily D’Ambrosio, the environment, energy and climate change minister has made a big claim that the government is willing to spend $31 million for the growth of vegetation on private land to capture carbon and build a habitat for endangered wildlife.
The scheme called BushBank is all set to fund organizations such as Trust For Nature, Greening Australia, Bush Heritage, and traditional owner groups. All of them will be working with private landowners to restore habitat and boost carbon storage potential.
BushBank will promote new growth of vegetation on parts of private land, thus creating a good habitat for endangered wildlife while also capturing CO2.
The state’s 2020-21 budget already has this program on the list but only now has the Andrews government officially decided to launch it. On the first day, it aims to cover the primary 20,000 hectares of area set to be restored.
This new approach of the state is believed to give results of phenomenal scale to bring the real environmental changes that are essentially needed.
The 20-year biodiversity strategy 2017 aims to restore 200,000 hectares of private land for conservation as per the target set by the government.
All of this money is going to be used to plant more trees and vegetation. Also, it can help if all this vegetation is used in projects of other industries in a way that creates an eco-friendly and sustainable future.
There are still some species whose habitat can be improved extensively. Those species are the southern greater glider, the southern brown bandicoot, the powerful owl, and the alpine bog skink.
Locations where vegetation can be easily improved are the North East and Northwest, Gippsland region, the land around Portland, or almost any other valuable spot that can benefit from a conservation project.
However it also greatly depends on the carbon storage potential of a particular area.
Victoria failing to protect threatened species
As the Victoria environmental department cannot demonstrate that it’s able to prevent any decline in threatened species, they could not keep up with their promise.
Among the state’s 2000 threatened species, only 20 per cent of the species have been getting benefited from the action plans.
The Department of Land, Environment, Planning and Water have contributed to help provide them with the benefit of the projects by the Auditor-General Andrew Greaves report.
These plans showcase how vulnerable animals and plants should be safeguarded and recovered from past damage.
Most of the plans today are almost a decade old and don’t talk about emerging threats and the status of the current species.
The state target
The state aims to reduce its CO2 emissions by 50% compared to 2005 levels by the end of 2030 and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
The state’s auditor general made a report on the Victorian environment department last year. It shows that the department was unable to stop the decline of threatened species.
Australian Land Conservation Alliance chief executive Jody Gunn is ready to invest generously in any project of private land conservation.
Almost 60% of Australian land is private. However, only 2% of this area was preserved for nature.
The landowner should be voluntarily contributing to conservation projects. It’s an effortless way to secure the wildlife, forests, river and farmlands for the future. A lot of landowners do make space for nature on their land, which is a good step in the right direction.
State governments are taking more interest in private land conservation. However, federal investment is essentially required to make a bigger change.